As the Cyclone Nisarga is heading towards the coasts of Maharashtra, a huge concern has been expressed regarding the nuclear and chemical plants that may come in its direct path. Expectedly, the cyclone will enter the coasts late Tuesday night or early Wednesday.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray while updating about the cyclone said, “Care is being taken to prevent power outages. Precautions are being taken at chemical units and nuclear power plants in Palghar and Raigad.”
Maharashtra posses a string of chemical and nuclear plants. In Palghar, the oldest Tarapur Atomic Power Plant complex and other power units are present while Mumbai has the BARC set up and Raigad houses power, petroleum, chemicals, and other major industries besides the Mumbai port trust, the Jawaharlal Nehru Post trust and vital installations of the navy.
People living in non-pucca houses have been shifted to safer shelters for them and slum dwellers have been asked to vacate for their own safety. As per reports, 50 patients were shifted from the Bandra Kurla complex COVID-19 hospital to the Goregaon NESCO hospital.
Rescue operations underway
Several units of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue operations and six more are kept in the reserve. As per reports, a 24×7 control room has been operationalized and the security forces and IMD have been instructed to ensure coordination.
The Western Naval Command(WNC) has claimed that it has prepared itself for emergency response during heavy rain and flooding due to cyclone Nisarga, along with the five flood rescue and three diving teams that would be in place throughout the monsoon.
Cyclone Nisarga to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm within 24 hours
The Indian Meteorological Department announced that depression in the Arabian Sea may develop into a cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours and further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm within 24 hours. The deep depression – ‘Cyclone Nisarga’, which is headed towards the coasts in Maharashtra and Gujarat, is likely to hit the western coast on Wednesday.
The IMD said that Cyclone Nisarga is moving at a speed of 11 kmph. “It lay centered over East-Central Arabian Sea about 280 km west-southwest of Panjim (Goa), 490 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 710 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat),” said IMD in its release.
“It is very likely to move nearly northwards during the next six hours and recurve north-northeastwards thereafter and cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar (in Maharashtra’s Raigad) and Daman during the afternoon of June 3,” the IMD further said.
The intensity of Cyclone Nisarga is currently picking up and the speed of the winds could go up to 90-100 kmph. The wind speed is expected to be 105-115 kmph gusting to 125 kmph when it nears landfall.