Mumbai Sighs In Relief After Escaping Cyclone Nisarga Fury

 - Sakshi Post

MUMBAI: Contrary to earlier fears, severe cyclonic storm Nisarga spared Mumbai, country’s financial capital that is already struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Cyclone Nisarga, not of the same intensity as the recent Cyclone Amphan, hurtled further northeast of Alibag after making its landfall there on Wednesday afternoon. With this, Mumbai breathed a big sigh of relief as it was spared of major devastation that is usually witnessed during cyclones. Even Gujarat felt relieved as there was little impact of the cyclone on its coast, as anticipated earlier.

As Cyclone Nisarga hit the Maharashtra coast near Mumbai and began drifting and weakening along its path over the land area, the heavy rainfall witnessed till Wednesday afternoon dramatically receded. Even the wind speed too showed a drastic fall, much to the relief of the residents and government machinery of Mumbai and around.

Due to consistent downpour till late afternoon on Wednesday, incidents of wall collases were reported in some neighbourhoods. A 58-year-old man died after an electricity transformer fell on him while he was hurrying back home to escape the cyclonic fury at Umate village in Raigad district. Deaths of two other persons and injuries to three were also reported from Pune district in two separate incidents. 

In Mumbai, gusty winds, before receding, uprooted several trees across the city, mostly in D N Road Fort, Colaba, King Circle and Mulund, the municipal authorities said. There were about 39 tree-fall complaints received by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from the city, 40 from its eastern suburbs, and 38 from the western suburbs. There were also at least nine complaints of wall collapse and 20 short-circuit incidents reported.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had on Tuesday sounded a red alert in Mumbai, Thane and Palghar as the cyclonic storm, the first to hit the west coast in June in over 100 years, was to make its landfall in Raigad district with wind speeds of 120 kmph Wednesday. The IMD had predicted extremely heavy rain at isolated places.

On Wednesday, the maximum wind speed recorded at landfall, by around 12.30 pm, by the Colaba observatory was 49.95 kmph and the Santacruz observatory at 22.2 kmph. Between 8.30 am and 5.30 pm, the Colaba observatory recorded 46.7 mm rainfall while its Santacruz counterpart recorded 22.8 mm rain. 

At Byculla zoo, animals had been shifted into their holding areas. A 20-strong zoo emergency response team were also deputed to tackle any untoward incidences.

The IMD, meanwhile, has predicted a clearer sky and with a possibility of light to moderate rain in Mumbai on Thursday and lowered the alert to ‘green’ level.

Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Pranaya Ashok said the ongoing lockdown had ensured people stayed indoors and did not put themselves at risk during the cyclone. “We had also issued a prohibitory order under section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The order was followed and our staff hardly found anyone near the sea,” he said. The city police control room that normally receives around 5,000 calls daily, had received around 2,500 calls till 6 pm on Wednesday. “Of these merely 200 were enquiries regarding the cyclone,” Ashok added.

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