Severe Cyclonic Storm “Nisarga” slams Maharashtra, killing 4 and disrupting power to millions, India


Severe Cyclonic Storm "Nisarga" caused extensive damage and killed four people after it made historic landfall over Maharashtra on June 3, 2020. Meanwhile, the financial capital Mumbai was spared as the storm changed its course. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) reported that as of 00:00 UTC (05:30 LT) Thursday, June 4, the storm has weakened into a depression, moving east-northeastwards at 23 km/h (14 mph) over western parts of Vidarbha, about 110 km (68 miles) west-southwest of Akola, 320 km (199 miles) west-southwest of Nagpur, and 100 km (62 miles) northeast of Aurangabad.

In Raigad, a 16-year-old boy lost his life after a tree fell on him in Srivardhan, while a 53-year-old died when an electric pole crashed on him in Alibuag.

The district, along with Palghar, bore the brunt of the storm as the areas were hit by strong winds, heavy rainfall, and raging sea surge, with tidal waves up to 2 m (8 feet) on coastal areas.

Roofs and trees were torn off, as well as electric poles. In some districts, crops sustained extensive damages. 

"Properties have been damaged at several places," said Palghar collector Kalash Shinde, adding that damages will be further assessed.

In Pune, a 65-year-old woman was killed after her house collapsed, a wall of a house collapsed in Wahagaon village, killing a 65-year-old woman and leaving three others injured, who were members of the same family.

In another incident, a 52-year-old died when a tin roof of his house was blown away.

Power was disrupted to millions of consumers in the districts of Raigad and Palghar, as well as in Thane.

More than 63 700 people were evacuated from coastal areas of eight districts, including coronavirus patients. 18 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and six teams of State Disaster Response Force were also deployed.

Meanwhile, metropolitan city Mumbai escaped the wrath of the storm as there was a slight change of direction towards north-eastwards, said IMD, which meant the cyclone's impact on the area was less severe than previously expected.

Mumbai saw moderate throughout the afternoon, then the weather began to clear towards the evening as the cyclone weakened into a deep depression.

As of Thursday evening, the depression was over western parts of Vidarbha. "It is very likely to move east-northeastwards and weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area," said IMD.

As the worst of the storm has passed, IMD forecasts a low-pressure area likely to develop over eastern parts of west-central Bay of Bengal around June 8, with Odisha possibly seeing heavy rainfall from June 10.

Featured image credit: NDRF


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