New Delhi: At least three people died and many others were injured as Cyclone Nisarga made landfall near Alibaug, about 110 km from Mumbai. However, the cyclone spared the country’s financial capital which is already reeling under coronavirus pandemic. Also Read - Markets Open, Flight Operations Resume at Mumbai Airport as Cyclone Nisarga Weakens | 10 Points
Police and civic officials said that three people died in the incident with two in Pune and one in Raigad district as the storm slammed the coastal districts of Maharashtra from the Arabian sea with wind speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour(kmph) in the afternoon on Wednesday. Also Read - Cyclone Nisarga: CM Uddhav Thackeray Asks Officials to Get Ready For Rescue, Relief Operation
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest bulletin said that the cyclone has weakened into a ‘cyclonic storm’ in the evening and by night further weakened into a deep depression and now lay over north-central Maharashtra. Moreover, the wind speed has also reduced considerably to 25 kmph. Also Read - Cyclone Nisarga: No Flight Operation at Mumbai Airport Till 7 PM; Mobile Network Services Disrupted in Raigad
Under its effect, the neighbouring coastal districts of Raigad and Palghar bore the brunt of the storm experiencing strong winds, heavy rainfall and raging sea surge. Tidal waves measuring up to 6-8 feet lashed parts of the coastal areas.
Videos shared on social media showed tin roofs erected on the terraces of residential apartments flying away in some places and several trees and electricity poles were also uprooted.
As per updates, a 58-year-old man died after a power transformer fell on him while he was rushing home to escape the cyclone fury in Raigad district.
In another incident, a 65-year-old woman and a 52-year-old man died in house collapse after the tin sheets over the roof were blown away in Pune district.
Issuing a statement, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the resilience showed by people and officials helped in mitigating the intensity of the cyclone.
“Thanking all who protected Maharashtra along with Mumbai in the face of the Nisarga cyclone which had hovered over Maharashtra at a time when the state is already grappling with COVID-19. But we all warded it (the cyclone crisis) off. The people and administration fought hard and mitigated the intensity of the crisis,” the chief minister said in a statement.
According to the IMD, the Cyclone Nisarga made landfall at 12.30 PM at Alibaug and the process was completed by 2.30 PM. Nisarga means nature and the name was coined by Bangladesh.
However, the cyclone did not cause any major damage on the southern coast of Gujarat where over 63,700 people from eight districts were evacuated.
Ahead of Nisarga’s landfall, thousands of people in its path were evacuated, trains rescheduled, flights cancelled, fishermen ordered out of the seas and rescue workers were put on standby.
Just after the landfall of the cyclone, Alibaug witnessed wind speeds of 120-130 kmph. Power utilities had shut down electricity supply in some parts of Ratnagiri district as a preventive measure while Mobile services were affected in parts of Raigad district. Alibagh recorded a rainfall of 45 mm and Ratnagiri 38 mm till 4 PM.
Part of the precautionary measure, flight operations were suspended at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Mumbai International Airport for a few hours in the afternoon. Then the operatiosn resumed at 6 PM.
The move to suspend flight operations was taken after a cargo aircraft belonging to FedEx overshot the main runway of the Mumbai airport on its arrival from Bengaluru.
To face the challenges posed by the cyclone, the NDRF had deployed 43 teams in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Moreover, both the states had activated their disaster response mechanism and evacuated people from areas in the cyclone’s path.