This nightmare of a year seems to have no end at all. Currently in India, we almost stand at the 2 lakh mark in terms of COVID-19 cases, have been fighting one of the worst locust attacks ever, and have not even recovered from the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan when another one is already on its way. In what is expected to be Mumbai's very first cyclone in over a century, Cyclone Nisarga is expected to hit the city soon.
Last week, when a depression was detected in the Arabian Sea, it was speculated to turn into a cyclone that could or could not affect the coastal part of Maharastra and Gujarat. However, the depression seems to have intensified now and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned in its latest statement that it is likely to turn into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours.
"It is very likely to move nearly northwards during next few hours, recurve north-northeastwards thereafter and cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag (Raigad District, Maharashtra) during the afternoon June 3 as a severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph," reads the statement issued by IMD at 4 pm today.
IMD issues bulletin at 4pm today 2June2020. #CycloneNisarga will soon meet us
Furthermore, a red alert has been issued for Mumbai, its suburban districts including Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg districts in view of Cyclone Nisarga. The Met office, too, has warned that Mumbai would be adversely affected by Nisarga, way more than Gujarat and other neighbouring districts. A flood alert has been issued for the city by the Central Water Commission.
Having assessed the situation, over 30 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in both Maharashtra and Gujarat. The cyclone is likely to hit Mumbai tomorrow i.e. on June 3 and has the potential to inundate the low-lying coastal areas of the city--Thane and Raigad districts during the landfall.
People across the coastal line have been strictly warned to stay off the sea. Fishermen, too, have been asked to return from the sea. The calamity swirls towards Mumbai at a time when the city is already crushed by the weight of the coronavirus crisis. Hospitals that aren't currently treating the COVID-19 patients have been directed to cater to the needs of those who seek medical assistance during or after Nisarga.
Earlier today an alarm was raised to call back ships and boats from the sea: