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Cyclone Nisarga makes landfall near Mumbai: report

MUMBAI: Cyclone Nisarga, which intensified into a “severe cyclonic storm” Wednesday morning, made landfall at India’s Maharashtra coast near Mumbai.

This is the second cyclone to strike India in two weeks and the first such storm that impact Mumbai  in over 100 years.

Cyclone Nisarga made landfall at the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts earlier today and is expected to subside by Thursday morning, media reports said.

The cyclone has been named by Bangladesh and ‘Nisarga’ means the ‘nature’.

Cyclone Nisarga, which intensified into a severe cyclonic storm in the Arabian Sea, made its landfall along India’s western coast, forcing a high alert in the financial hub of Mumbai and evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

“[The] landfall process started and it will be completed during the next three hours. The northeast sector of the eye of the severe cyclonic storm Nisarga is entering into the land,” India’s meteorological department said on Wednesday.

Nisarga caused heavy rains and winds gusting up to 120km (75 miles) per hour as a category 4 cyclone near the coastal city of Alibagh, about 98km (60 miles) south of Mumbai, which is home to more than 18 million people.

At least 100,000 people, including coronavirus patients, were moved to safer locations, according to officials. The storm surge threatened to flood beaches and low-lying slums as city authorities struggled to contain the pandemic.

Cyclones often skirt densely populated Mumbai, though every year during torrential rains of the June-September monsoon season roads are submerged, and the suburban railway service that serves millions of people comes to a halt.

The city has rarely faced the brunt of cyclones – the last severe storm to hit the city struck in 1948, killing 12 people and injuring more than 100.

Earlier, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan said that the country’s coastal areas are under “no immediate threat” from tropical cyclone “Nisarga” in the Arabian sea.

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