Mumbai braces for Cyclone Nisarga, first in its history

This May 31 satellite image released by NASA shows Cyclone Nisarga roaring toward the western coast of India

Over 30 NDRF teams, each consisting of 45 personnel, were sent to both states.

All subsidiary companies of Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited have also started control rooms and have appointed nodal officers to tackle any issues related to power outage.

Cyclones formed on the Bay of Bengal side are frequent and stronger than those on the Arabian Sea side due to the cold waters of the Arabian Sea discouraging the same. More than 500 people were killed, washed away, buried in landslides, electrocuted or simply suffocated in their drowning cars. The low lying areas can easily experience flooding in the event of a bad storm surge or very heavy rains.

In a statement, the weather department said that the cyclonic storm will hit the parts of Maharashtra and Gujarat on June 3.

A meeting was held with all stakeholders on the issue of devising preventive measures to tackle potential adversities accompanied by the cyclone, the airport operator said.

Dark clouds gather over the skyline in Mumbai India Tuesday
Dark clouds gather over the skyline in Mumbai India Tuesday

Tandel, who lives in a fishing village in Cuffe Parade at the southern tip of Mumbai, was referring to the ban on fishing between April and June every year, to allow fish in the Arabian Sea to spawn. The project has been challenged in court by activists, coastal residents and fish workers for ecological damage it is likely to cause to the city's coast and the alleged lack of environmental clearances required for reclaiming large portions of the sea. "The NDRF teams will help locals to deal with difficulties during cyclones". In the U.S. system, he says, this would be "a strong tropical storm, not quite a hurricane".

However, the onset of the storm is likely to worry officials in Mumbai. With more than 50,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19, the city is already India's worst-impacted in terms of infections.

Its healthcare system is at breaking point, with videos from state emergency wards showing patients being forced to share beds and even oxygen cylinders. "The rain may go up to more than 20 cm a day", he said.

The onset of rains in coming months is expected to bring about other illness like malaria, typhoid, gastric infection and leptospirosis.

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