Landfall in Raigad, cyclone impact not severe in Mumbai
Mumbaikars and the people in the neighbouring towns and cities heaved a huge sigh of relief on Wednesday evening, as cyclone Nisarga skipped the country’s commercial Capital and surrounding areas after making a landfall at Murud-Janjira town in Raigad district, triggering strong winds, heavy rainfall and raging sea surge in the coastal Konkan region.
Reeling as they have been under a severe coronavirus crisis for the past ten weeks, anxious Mumbaikars were waiting with bated breath for the arrival of the severe cyclonic storm, but Nisarga — when it finally arrived in Maharashtra — changed its direction after its landfall between 12.30 pm and 2.30 pm at the historic Murud-Janjira town in Raigad district, on Wednesday and headed towards Pune.
“It (cyclone) made the landfall at Latitude 18.5 N and Longitude 73.2 E, just north of the historic Murud-Janjira town. A slight of change of direction towards North Eastwards meant, the impact of the cyclone on Mumbai was less severe than originally expected,” an official release said.
One person was killed and seven others were injured in Raigad. Three persons sustained minor injuries when stones fell on the tin roof of their hutment at Santacruz in north-west Mumbai, while four others were injured parts of roof crashed on them at Walkeshwar in south Mumbai.
While the metropolis witnessed minor incidents like tree falls and wall crashes as cyclone Nisarga by-passed it, the coastal districts of Maharashtra bore the brunt of rough weather conditions like strong winds, heavy rainfall and raging sea surge.
Tidal waves measuring up to 6 to 8 feet lashed parts of coastal areas in Ratnagiri and Raigad districts, both of which bore the brunt of cyclone Nisarga.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) said cyclone Nisarga was set to move North Eastwards and weaken into a cyclonic storm later on Wednesday night.
Ahead of the arrival of the severe cyclone storm, various agencies had shifted nearly 40,000 people living in coastal areas of Konkan region to safer places.
Mumbai received a rainfall of 46.7 mm, while the city suburbs registered 22.8 mm which was hardly of any significance for Mumbai which is used to heavy rains during the monsoons.
Not wanting to take any chances, the Maharashtra Government had made elaborate preparations to take on the cyclonic storm. While the police had clamped section 144 of CrPC to ensure against the presence of people on roads, the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had suspended the traffic on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link.
The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport shut operations for nearly three hours. The flight operations resumed at around 7 pm.
The Central Railway, Western Railway and Konkan Railway either rescheduled or cancelled several special trains that they are running during lockdown. Four long distance trains on the Konkan Railway route connecting Kerala with Mumbai and New Delhi were re-routed via Madgaon – Belgavi – Miraj of the South Western Railway.
The lockdown norms-regulated movement of vehicles returned to normal in Mumbai and suburbs at around 5.30 pm.
Meanwhile, at some places in Raigad and Palghar districts, tin roofs erected on the terraces of residential apartments flew away, while Raigad’s district headquarters, Alibag, witnessed wind speeds of 120-130 kmph.
Power utilities had shut down electricity supply in some parts of Ratnagiri district as a preventive measure. Mobile services were affected in parts of Raigad district. Alibagh recorded a rainfall of 45 mm till 4 pm, while the neighbouring Ratnagiri district registered 38 mm rainfall till 4 pm.
“There have been tree falling incidents on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway too, but the traffic flow was not affected,” National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Commander Anupam Srivastava said.
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, there were nine incidents -three in Island city and six in the suburbs, in which walls and roofs of houses crashed. However, no one injured in these incidents.
The BMC control room received 196 complaints from the residents about the fall of trees and branches in various parts of the city and suburbs. No one was injured. Similarly, there were 39 incidents of electric short-circuits in which no one was injured.
“Mumbai, we have survived several storms together. This cyclone shall pass too. As always, just take all necessary precautions, follow the guidelines and don’t believe in any rumours. Trust only official sources. Take care,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh had tweeted earlier in the day.
Ahead of the arrival of the cyclone Nisarga, Central and State authorities had taken necessary precautions to restrict the damage by Cyclone. NDRF had pressed in 43 teams in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Cyclone preparedness was reviewed at the highest level in New Delhi by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had assured of all help from the Centre during his telephonic talks with the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Thursday, 04 June 2020 | TN RAGHUNATHA | Mumbai