Coronavirus-hit Maharashtra reported at least four deaths linked to Cyclone Nisarga that made landfall in Raigad district’s Alibaugh on Wednesday and weakened into a tropical depression overnight. While Mumbai emerged relatively unscathed from the tropical storm, it was hit by heavy rain this morning that led to water-logging in some parts of the city.
Thousands, including many COVID-19 patients, were evacuated from the financial capital – the worst-affected city by the pandemic – hours before the cyclone hit the Maharashtra coast. The storm was anticipated as one of the worst in a long time to impact the city.
Amid high tide warning, no one in Mumbai is allowed to come out in public places like beaches, parks and promenades along the city’s coastlines. Flight operations were suspended for a few hours at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Wednesday after a Fed-X plane overshot the runway.
Visuals from Alibaug – a popular getaway about 100 km from Mumbai – on Wednesday showed trees swaying, electricity poles toppling amid strong winds and heavy rain as the severe cyclonic storm made landfall.
While two deaths were reported from Raigad district – a teenager died in a wall collapse in Shrivardhan and a 58-year-old man died in Alibaug after an electricity pole fell on him – one death was reported from Ratnagiri district and one death from reported from Pune. The India Meteorological Department had predicted heavy rain and flooding in Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Palghar.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had appealed to the people of the state to “stay indoors” for two days.
Yesterday, while addressing the state after the landfall, he said: “None can withstand the fury of nature, but Maharashtra is united and strong in the face of crisis and the cyclone has shown this. This unity will help us bring the state out of all the crises,” Mr Thackeray said.