News Karnataka
Sunday, April 14 2024

‘Nisarga’ may hit Maharashtra coast by afternoon, flights curtailed

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Mumbai: Maharashtra braced for the onslaught of the Cyclone ‘Nisarga’ currently hovering around 175 kms from south-southwest of Mumbai — which is expected to make a landfall near Harihareshwar in adjoining Raigad district sometime on Wednesday afternoon.

All emergency services, the police, fire brigade, NDRF and SDRF, Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Home Guards and others are fully geared for the anticipated fallout of the cyclone, while the domestic flight operations have been curtailed as a precaution.

Slated to hit Raigad at a dizzying wind speed of 110-120 kmph over the next six hours, it is very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm, the effects will be experienced in the entire Konkan coastal region and adjoining districts of western Maharashtra, said IMD, Mumbai.

Presently, the Nisarga is being tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars in Mumbai and Goa as it swirls gradually towards the land. According to the IMD, the tropical storm is currently 130 kilometres from Alibaug, 175 kilometres from Mumbai and 400 kilometres from Surat in Gujarat.

The IMD has also warned of a storm surge of 0.5 to one meter, which is going to inundate areas up to two kilometres in Maharashtra’s Raigad and Thane districts.

The Mumbai International Airport Ltd. announced on Wednesday that it will operate only 19 flights — including 11 outgoing — instead of the regular 50 daily, in view of the cyclone.

The flights shall be operated by Air India, AirAsia, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet subject to possible last-minute changes in schedules,

Mumbai has been battered by continuous rains since Tuesday evening and this morning, several low lying were inundated in the city and suburbs.

While prohibitory orders are clamped in the city, Mumbai Police and other security forces are out in full swing to ensure people don’t step out to the sea fronts, promenades or beaches and other open spaces.

As a precautionary measure, an estimated 2,000 people living in the non-pucca houses have been shifted to safer locations and an estimated 2,000-plus slum-dwellers in low-lying areas have been asked to evacuate.

Earlier Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued ‘Red Alert’ for June 3 for Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar. It will continue on June 4 for Palghar, Dhule and Nandurbar. Alerts have also been issued for Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.

Nisarga comes on the heels of Cyclone ‘Amphan’ which had killed close to 90 people when it hit eastern India and Bangladesh on May 20, flattening villages, destroying farms and leaving millions without electricity.

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