Besides Corona, Maha braces to confront Cyclone 'Nisarga'

Mumbai, June 2 (IANS) The Maharashtra government has implemented stringent measures along the coastal Konkan region along with Mumbai to combat the approaching super cyclone 'Nisarga', expected to make landfall late on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, officials said here on Tuesday.

The IMD has issued a Red Alert on June 3 for Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Palghar, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, and the Red Alert will continue on June 4 for Palghar, Dhule and Nandurbar.

In a warning, the weather office of Mumbai said that the depression over East Central Arabian Sea moved northwards at a speed of 11 kmph during early Tuesday and intensified into a deep depression around 5.30 a.m. about 280 km west-southwest of Goa and 490 km south-southwest of Mumbai.

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"It is very likely to intensify into Cyclonic Storm during next 12 hours and further into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during subsequently 12 hours (June 3)," the IMD bulletin said.

The storm is expected to move towards north later on Tuesday and recurve north-northeastwards to cross north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar (Raigad) and Daman by Wednesday afternoon.

The IMD has advised DC-I signal at all ports in north Maharashtra and hoist signal No. LC-III at all ports in south Maharashtra and Goa.

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"We have taken all necessary measures. I appeal to fishermen not to venture out into the sea," Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has said.

Similar appeals have been made by other ruling allies -- the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party, asking people to stay indoors during the expected cyclonic storm and cooperate with the authorities.

Recently, Thackeray had chaired a meeting on the city's monsoon preparedness in which officials from the state government, Mumbai and other civic bodies, the IMD, army, navy and air force representatives were present.

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The upcoming cyclone will put further stress on the security forces already burdened by the Covid-19 pandemic duties in the worst-hit Mumbai Metropolitan Region - most falling in the Coronavirus Red Zone - since the past nearly three months now.

The IMD Mumbai has also forecast "very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall very likely to occur in isolated places" in Mumbai and districts of north Konkan, even as drizzles or light showers continued to soak Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad since Monday.

--IANS

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