With Cyclone Nisarga's landfall, destruction begins too: Details here
The landfall process of Cyclone Nisarga started at 12:30 pm and climaxed after over three hours, throwing normal life out of gear along the Western coast, particularly in Maharashtra's Raigad, Ratnagiri, Mumbai, and some parts of Gujarat. Visuals on social media showed heavy winds lashing the areas. People were asked to remain indoors and take all necessary precautions. Here's what went down.
The cyclone will weaken in the next six hours
The landfall happened near Raigad and then the storm moved North-eastwards. The storm crossed the coast close to Alibag at 1:30 pm. "The rear part of the wall cloud is still over the sea and the landfall process will be completed in the next one hour. It is likely to move North-eastwards and weaken into a cyclonic storm during the next 6 hours," the MeT department said earlier.
Trees uprooted, cars damaged, traffic stopped, flight operations suspended
In Ratnagiri district, the cyclone ripped apart fragile structures, leaving a trail of destruction. Visuals from Mumbai showed that trees were uprooted, heavy branches fell on stationary cars, and buildings were damaged. All vehicular movement was stopped on the Bandra-Worli sea link and flight operations suspended at Mumbai airport till 7 pm. Officials were seen on the streets undertaking relief operations.
Watch: Heavy winds cause chaos
10 sailors rescued, relief teams deployed
At least 10 sailors were rescued from a stranded ship off the Ratnagiri coast. The area saw high tides and heavy rains. A total of eight disaster relief teams were mobilized by the Indian Coast Guard Region (West) for humanitarian assistance. The teams are present at Dahanu, Mumbai, Murud, Janjira, and Ratnagiri. Separately, over 40 NDRF teams were sent to Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray is monitoring the situation
A statement from Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray's office revealed that he was monitoring the situation. "He is also in constant touch with BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and ward officers and issuing instructions to ensure that the cyclone causes minimum damage," the statement added. Thackeray ordered immediate relief operations as the cyclone will now move towards the northern areas of the state.
Mumbai mayor said fire services and lifeguards are on standby
Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar visited Girgaon beach and later went to Versova for inspection. "Our fire services, lifeguards, and other disaster management teams are on standby. People living near the sea have been evacuated," she said. Other officials also took stock of the situation. Bandra's BMC Councilor, Asif Zakaria, said people complained of fallen trees and efforts are on to clear the roads.
No to rumors, yes to precautions: BMC's message to Mumbaikars
Earlier, BMC released a list of dos and don'ts for citizens. They were asked to dial 1916 and press 4 for any questions. Everyone was asked to stay indoors, that too away from windows, charge gadgets, hide under strong furniture in case of an unfortunate incident, and leave the building on smelling gas leak. Don't believe rumors and don't panic too, suggested BMC.