Gujarat & Maharashtra braces for cyclone Nisarga, thousands evacuated from coast

PTI

Cyclone Nisarg

Cyclone Nisarga

Heavy rain continued to lash many parts of Mumbai city and suburbs along with Navi Mumbai, Raigarh, Palghar, Thane, Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Satara districts of Maharashtra. Over 11,000 citizens from over 200 villages from costal parts of Alibagh have been shifted to safer places.

Severe cyclonic storm Nisarga now lay centred over east central Arabian sea near 115 kms South-Southwest of Alibagh and 165 kms of South-Southwest of Mumbai in Konkan region. The cyclone is likely to brush off Alibaug. It is likely to hit with a wind speed of about 120 kmph.

Twenty one teams of National Disaster Response Force, four teams of State Disaster Response Force along with Navy and Coast guard have been deployed in Maharashtra to conduct evacuations and necessary relief and rehabilitation measures. Respective district authorities, along with the Navy and cost guard, are on high and will be on their toes to minimise the damage.

Preventive checks are in place at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. Including 8 Arrivals and 11 departures, 19 out of 50 flights will operate today. A dedicated team has been placed at the airport on standby to assist in this wary situation. Special precautions have been taken for smaller and lighter aircrafts as they are vulnerable to strong winds.

Central Railway have rescheduled several special trains leaving from Mumbai. Some other trains, scheduled to arrive in Mumbai have also been regulated or diverted. Trains, scheduled to leave today from Mumbai for Gorakhpur, Thiruvananthapuram, Darbhanga, Varanasi and Bhubaneshwar, have been rescheduled.

Similarly, some UP trains, including Patna-LTT, Varanasi-CSMT have been regulated and Thiruvananthapuram -LTT has been diverted via Pune.

In view of the approaching cyclonic storm Nisarg which is likely to cross the south Gujarat Coast by today afternoon, the evacuation of people from low lying areas to safer locations is underway.

MET department has predicated extremely heavy rainfall with gusty winds in parts of South Gujarat coastal districts today. AIR correspondent reports that light to moderate rains with strong winds were reported in the coastal areas yesterday in wake of Cyclone Nisarg.

Heavy rainfall was reported at isolated places in coastal districts of Saurashtra mainly Junagadh, Gir Somnath, Amreli yesterday. Coastal districts of South Gujarat also reported light to moderate showers with strong winds. The ports in the state are flagging warning No 2 signals.

Relief Commissioner Harshad Patel said the state government is fully equipped to tackle the calamity. The shifting of over 34 thousand people living in low lying areas of eight coastal districts including Surat, Navsari, Valsad and Bharuch to safer locations is underway, so far over 16 thousand have been moved to shelter homes.

In view of Covid 19, special precautions such as the use of mask, PPE suits, sanitiser are being taken. Around 265 shelter homes have been set up to accommodate the evacuated people.

Five more teams of NDRF were airlifted yesterday evening from Bhatinda. At present 18 teams of NDRF and 6 teams of SDRF have been deputed in the state.