Cyclone Nisarga to hit near Mumbai at noon, flight operations to be affected: Latest updates

A deep depression over east-central Arabian Sea, which intensified into cyclone Nisarga on Tuesday, is expected to make landfall near Alibaug in Maharashtra on Wednesday. Alibaug is about 94 kilometre from Mumbai.

Nisarga will hit as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100 to 110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph.

It is currently situated 165 kilometre South-West of Alibag, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said on Wednesday morning. It also said that heavy rainfall is expected over coastal Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat in next few hours.

Here are the latest developments on Cyclone Nisarga:

1. The IMD said in its 7 am bulletin on Wednesday that the cyclone is expected to make landfall between 12 pm and 3 pm. It is approaching the north coast of Maharashtra with a speed of 13 kilometers per hour, reported news agency ANI.

2. Nisarga intensified into a severe cyclonic storm early on Wednesday morning and is currently recording a wind speed of 85 to 95 kmph gusting to 105 kmph. The diametre of the cyclone’s eye is about 65 kilometre as observed through radar, said the weather department.

3. The IMD has issued a red alert for at least seven coastal districts of Maharashtra, while several districts along Gujarat’s coast are also expecting heavy rainfall. Mumbai, which is on the path of the cyclone, will likely receive very heavy rainfall upwards of 164 mm.

4. The movement of people along the Mumbai coastline has been prohibited from midnight to Thursday afternoon, news agency PTI quoted city police as saying. An order under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was being issued, it further reported.

5. A predicted storm surge of about 1-2 metres height above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad. Nisarga is the first storm to threaten Mumbai in more than 70 years.

6. Operations at the Mumbai airport, which has been handling 50 domestic flights daily since May 25, are likely to be significantly affected on Wednesday due to the cyclone.

7. Nisarga is expected to maintain its cyclonic storm intensity for about six hours after the landfall while moving north-northeastward towards central Maharashtra. Under its influence, gale wind reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph is likely to prevail over Pune, Ahmadnagar and 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph adjoining Beed, Nashik and Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra, the IMD said.

8. At least 1,00,000 people, including some coronavirus patients, were being moved to safer locations, officials in Maharashtra have said. The Gujarat government has said that nearly 79,000 people will be evacuated from coastal regions by early Wednesday.

9. Gujarat relief commissioner Harshad Patel told reported on Tuesday that 18 districts across the state would experience heavy rainfall and strong winds.

10. Nisarga comes on the heels of Cyclone Amphan, which killed more than 100 people as it ravaged West Bengal, Odisha and Bangladesh last month. Nisarga is the 65th named cyclone in the north Indian Ocean and its name, proposed by Bangladesh, means ‘nature’.

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