At least three casualties were reported in Maharashtra after Cyclone Nisarga made landfall in Raigad district, south of Mumbai, with wind speeds of up to 120 kmph on Wednesday afternoon. At least seven people were injured in Mumbai, according to reports.
After storming the Maharashtra coast at wind speeds of up to 120 kmph in the afternoon, the cyclone has started weakening in the evening, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in a bulletin. IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said the landfall began at 12.30 pm at Alibaug and was completed by 2.30 pm. The storm lay 75 km southeast of Mumbai and 65 km west of Pune. “It has started weakening. The wind speed is currently 90-100 km per hour and the intensity will reduce further by the evening,” he said. The cyclone will further weaken into a cyclonic storm by evening and into a deep depression by late night.
As the process of landfall began, Mumbai police stopped vehicular movement on the Bandra-Worli sea link, while NDRF DG advised people not to step out for six or seven hours at least.
In Mumbai, three persons sustained minor injuries when some construction stones fell on the tin roof of their slum in Santa Cruz, and four others were injured when pieces of a roof crashed on them in Walkeshwar. There were around 196 incidents of trees or branch crashes and at least two taxis getting crushed under them, nine incidents of minor house or wall crashes and 29 incidents of short-circuits all over the city, but no fatalities, said the Disaster Control of BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Across Maharahstra, 40,000 people have been evacuated to safer places. At the Juhu Moregaon village, 250 residents staying near the sea have been shifted to Ritambara college. Meanwhile, BMC chief Iqbal Chahal visited the disaster control room and reviewed the situation; even Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited the Girgaon Chowpatty and Juhu beach to review the impact due to the cyclone.
Meanwhile, Mumbai airport services were hit and only 19 flights took off. The airport suspended all flights from 2.30 pm, but they were resumed after 6.30 pm.
Several long-distance trains on the Central Railway and Western Railway had been rescheduled to avoid the cyclone.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, along with other ministers and officials, continuously monitored the unfolding cyclonic situation while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar was in constant touch with all coastal District Collectors and sought ground reports from them.
Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat said that though Mumbai has been spared of the cyclonic wrath, the danger is not yet over as it continues to move in a north-eastern direction. “We are currently getting details with ‘panchnama’ of all the damage that has taken place in the affected regions. People must still remain vigilant as rains and strong winds will continue for at least another day,” Thorat said.
Maharashtra Fishermen’s Association President Damodar Tandel said that many fishing villages on the entire coastal belt have suffered huge damages due to the storm. “As per the latest information, most of our fishing boats were moored safely since the past couple of days, but the real damage will be known only after the stormy weather recedes. There are no reports of any casualties or missing fisherfolk,” Tandel said.
With inputs from agencies