Cyclone Nisarga: 19,000 evacuated as Raigad district, Mumbai prepare for cyclone

Updated: Jun 03, 2020, 07:08 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon, Prajakta Kasale | Mumbai

BMC says they have evacuated those in low-lying, and landslide-prone areas in city, have readied schools to shift more if required

Trees being cut at Marine Drive in preparation of cyclone Nisarga on Tuesday. Pic/Ela Das
Trees being cut at Marine Drive in preparation of cyclone Nisarga on Tuesday. Pic/Ela Das

The landfall of cyclone Nisarga and high-tide on Wednesday at the same time, could severely waterlog low-lying areas in the city. The BMC has kept hundreds of schools ready to shift residents to if necessary. "We have kept community halls and cultural centres in the university campus at Kalina along with a few civic schools ready," said Ashok Khairnar, assistant commissioner of H East ward. In Raigad district, which is expected to get the full force of the cyclone, 19,000 people have already been evacuated to safer areas.

Heavy rain and high-tide have always been a troublesome combination for the city, where many areas are below sea level. On Wednesday, the civic corporation will have to deal with the strong wind also. As per the prediction of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Mumbai, there will be heavy to very heavy rain from early morning in the city, and the landfall time is around 11.30 am. There is a high-tide at 10.15 am when the level of the sea will rise to 4.6 metres. Due to the storm surge, the sea level will increase by another 1 to 2 metres and will inundate the low lying areas of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane districts.

Fire Brigade said coordination drill between beach safety and flood response teams has been conducted on all six beaches
Fire Brigade said coordination drill between beach safety and flood response teams has been conducted on all six beaches

Every monsoon, BMC shifts thousands of residents on the banks of the Mithi river to safe places like municipal schools. While no one was shifted till Tuesday evening according to ward officers, the municipal commissioner claimed that people were being shifted.

'Ready to shift people'
Manish Valanju, assistant commissioner of L ward comprising Kurla and Chunabhatti told mid-day that they have prepared five schools to move people if the water level rises. Along with checking dewatering pumps, the ward personnel have checked hoardings, cranes at under-construction buildings and alerted tree-cutting contractors.

Fire Brigade held a drill with the beach safety and flood response team at Girgaon chowpatty and five other beaches. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Fire Brigade held a drill with the beach safety and flood response team at Girgaon chowpatty and five other beaches. Pic/Bipin Kokate

In a meeting held at the BMC headquarters on Tuesday, Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal gave required instructions to all civic officers. Aaditya Thackeray, guardian minister of Mumbai Suburbs was also present. Chahal said, "As per the disaster management plan, residents are being shifted from low-lying areas, possible landslide prone and waterlogging areas. As per the warning of heavy to very heavy rain, dewatering pumps have been kept ready." He instructed officers to pay special attention to under-construction buildings and ensure they are safe.

Prabhat Rahangdale, chief of the Mumbai Fire Brigade, said that coordination drill between the beach safety and flood response team has been conducted on all six beaches including Girgaon, Dadar, Juhu, Aksa, Versova and Gorai. All the safety instruments along with jet skis for beaches and fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) boats for low lying areas are ready. He added that Search and Rescue teams and Hazmat teams are also ready for emergencies.

Fisherfolk try to keep their boats safe at Badhwar Park. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Fisherfolk try to keep their boats safe at Badhwar Park. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The Navy, Coast Guard, Police, Railway and weather department have been co-ordinating with each other. "Citizens should stay in their houses and follow the instructions given by the corporation," said Chahal.

COVID-19 patients shifted
The MMRDA handed over the 1,000-beds CCC to the BMC which had shifted around 150 patients there. The chief minister had instructed the patients be shifted to buildings. As per the instruction all patients were shifted to Goregaon and Worli centres on Tuesday. The BMC has instructed the police to check all the temporary structures made by them for COVID-19 surveillance.

10.15AM
Time when the sea level is expected to rise to 4.6 metres

1 PM
Time cyclone is expected to make landfall near Alibaug

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