Cyclone Nisarga: India metropolis of Mumbai braces for rare storm

Elias Hubbard
June 3, 2020

Mumbai's global airport will only operate 19 flights, including 11 departures and eight arrivals, due to the uncertain weather conditions caused by cyclone Nisarga.

Mumbai, which has been severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic now faces a new challenge as the storm approaches.

The evacuees include almost 150 coronavirus patients from a recently built field hospital in Mumbai, underscoring the difficulties facing the city ahead of the monsoon season as it struggles to contain the pandemic, with around a fifth of India's cases.

With more than 40,000 confirmed virus cases, and nearly 1,400 deaths, Mumbai is the worst-affected city in India.

In the state capital, Mumbai, home to Bollywood, India's largest stock exchange and more than 18 million residents, high winds whipped skyscrapers and ripped apart shanties near the beach. But there were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage, officials said.

He also said some 150 coronavirus patients had been moved out of a hospital near the city's beachfront.

In Maharashtra's Palghar district, more than 21,000 villagers were being evacuated, local media reported, citing officials.

A Reuters witness in the town where the storm made landfall said the area was pummelled with heavy rain and strong winds.

The Maharashtra government which was bracing itself for severe damage said more than 60,000 people who were evacuated from the coastal areas of the state will return home by Thursday morning.

In Maharashtra, more than 19,000 people have been moved to safety and 43 NDRF teams deployed in coastal areas expected to be affected in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

"In wake of the coronavirus outbreak, all standard operating procedures are being followed at the temporary shelters which have been sanitised and instructions have been issued on following safe distancing", Arpit Sagar, an official in Valsad, told the AFP news agency.

A deserted road is seen at Marine Drive before cyclone Nisarga makes its landfall, in Mumbai, India, June 3, 2020.

Trees were uprooted because of strong winds during a cyclone in Mumbai.

Nisarga comes just two weeks after Cyclone Amphan tore through the Bay of Bengal on India's east coast and battered West Bengal state, killing more than 100 people in India and neighbouring Bangladesh.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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