Cyclone Nisarga landed around 1 p.m. Local time (3:30 a.m.CET) with wind speeds of up to 110 km / h (68 mph), according to the Indian Weather Authority (IMD).
The cyclone that formed in the Arabian Sea on Tuesday morning hit the city of Alibag south of Mumbai.
Before landing, the cyclone strengthened to just below a Category 1
The states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, as well as the Union territories Dadra and Nagar Haveli as well as Daman and Diu on the west coast of India are probably the most affected by the storm. The greatest threat will come from heavy rains, which can lead to fatal floods in and around Mumbai and the surrounding areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Evacuation of coronavirus patients
While Maharashtra is fighting to contain the virus, around 1,000 patients suspected of having Covid-19 were evacuated from a field hospital on Tuesday and taken to other facilities.
The Maharashtra government has established several “jumbo facilities” to serve as isolation centers for suspected coronavirus cases. “The scales can easily withstand the rain, but it is the wind speed that I am concerned about and I do not want to endanger anyone,” said State Minister Uddhav Thackeray in a speech on Tuesday.
The field hospital in the Bandra Kurla complex in Mumbai has room for over 1,000 patients, all of whom will be transferred to other hospitals, he added.
Before landing, the Indian National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) deployed 20 teams in Maharashtra, 16 teams in Gujarat and two teams in other nearby areas.
According to a statement by the Indian Interior Ministry, thousands of people who live in weak or makeshift houses along the low-lying coast have been evacuated.
More than 50,000 people living on the coast of southern Gujarat have been evacuated, said Harshad Patel, Gujarat’s aid commissioner. In Mumbai, government agencies and the NDRF have evacuated more than 60,000 people from coastal areas, said Maharashtra Aid Commissioner Kishor Raje Nimbalkar.
The IMD expects significant damage to thatched houses and cottages as well as to power and communication lines.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Mumbai, 35 schools are used as temporary emergency shelters for citizens.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked residents of the affected areas to take all possible precautions.
“We took stock of the situation after the cyclone conditions in parts of the west coast of India. We prayed for the good of all. I urge people to take all possible precautions and safety measures,” Modi said in a tweet Tuesday.
Brandon Miller of CNN contributed to the reporting.