At a time when Maharashtra is facing the Coronavirus pandemic, the state along with Gujarat is also gearing up to face the challenge of Cyclone Nisarga. The deep depression in the Arabian Sea is likely to make landfall near Alibag on Wednesday afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph.
As per Indian Meteorological Department, Pune the coastal districts of Maharashtra -, Raigad, Mumbai, Thane and Palghar are expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall tomorrow. Interior districts of Pune, Nashik, Dhule and Nandurbar will also receive rainfall.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 10 teams at various places in Maharashtra. Anupam Srivastava, Commander, NDRF at Pune said 3 teams have been deployed in Mumbai, 2 each in Raigad and Palghar and 1 each in Thane, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg. NDRF teams have surveyed the region and briefed people to explain the damage likely to be caused by the cyclone. In Palghar district, people from 13 villages along the coast have been evacuated to safer places.
NDRF Director General S N Pradhan in a video message said “Gujarat and Maharashtra have 11 and 10 teams respectively and they are being deployed in the coastal districts facing the Arabian Sea. Although this is not an extremely severe cyclone, all precautions are being taken with the basic principle in mind that while we expect the best, we must prepare for the worst.”. Additional six teams have been kept on stand-by for Maharashtra. An NDRF team comprises 45 personnel and each team is equipped with tree and pole cutting machines, communication gadgets, inflatable boats, first-aid and basic medicines kit etc.
In Mumbai, the Maharashtra Naval Area will be on standby with five Flood Rescue Teams and three Diving Teams. Recce of known flood-prone areas has been undertaken and all necessary preparations are in place. Similar arrangements have been set up within the Karwar Naval Area, the Goa Naval Area as well as Gujarat Daman and Diu Naval Areas. The respective Area and Station Commanders are in touch with the State authorities, NDRF and SDRF to be able to respond to a crisis situation in the shortest possible time. In addition, naval Dornier aircraft and helicopters at various Naval Air Stations at Mumbai, Goa and Porbandar are ready at short notice to ferry teams inaccessible during floods as also rescue stranded personnel.
Indian Coast Guard ships, aircraft and onshore stations are continuously relaying warnings about impending adverse weather to merchant vessels and fishermen.
BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has kept its disaster management control room on high alert. Officials from all 24 wards in Mumbai have been asked to identify potentially hazardous and low lying settlements and evacuate people to nearby safer places.