Strong cyclonic winds called Nisarga is brewing up in the Arabian Sea near Lakshwadeep Island is supposed to make landfall in Maharashtra and Gujrat tomorrow, Indian Meteorology Department has warned. Winds could reach 115 km with gushes touching 125km.
The deep depression over the Arabian Sea developed into Nisarga today. If the cyclone makes landfall in Mumbai as suspected, it would be for the first time in the coastal city’s 129 years history. Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, and Raigad have been placed on red alert, and fishermen have been warned to return back to the shore from the seas.
Mumbai’s low lying areas have been evacuated as scientists fear a rough sea could inundate low lying areas. Cyclone Misarga is the second cyclone to form in India in a fortnight after Amphan ravaged west Bengal and Odhisa.
The government has deployed 15 National Disaster Response Force with four en route to coastal districts of Maharashtra, according to reports. The cyclone hits the state at a time when coronavirus cases are steadily spiking. Maharashtra — India’s most populous state has the largest number of infections in India with 67,655 confirmed cases and 2,286 deaths.
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The Prime Minister of India. Narendra Modi extended his prayers for the upcoming situation and has urged people to take as much care possible.
The upcoming Nisarga is said to be the first to hit Mumbai in over a decade. Even the only cyclone to remain in Mumbai’s memory lane was the one to hit the city in 1882, and was said to have killed 100,000. However, scientist Adam Sobel debunked the case as an urban legend, The Times of India reports.
Why is Mumbai so fortunate to not encounter cyclones like the east coast brethren? The credit goes to the Arabian sea and its dynamics, especially the cold waters. Whereas the Bay of Bengal encounters many storms forming in the frontier waters, the Arabin sea sees only one to two forming in the region. According to the Times of India, even when the storm form, they tend to deflect towards Oman and Gulf of Aden. Or they head towards Gujrat, like last year’s Cyclone Vayu.
(Cover image courtesy of @Indiametdept via Twitter)