Cyclone Nisarga is Due to Hit Maharashtra and Gujarat Coasts. Give Us a Break, 2020


Cyclone Nisarga is Due to Hit Maharashtra and Gujarat Coasts. Give Us a Break, 2020

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

There is little doubt that 2020 has been the year of doom, with a pandemic, a super cyclone, a global economic meltdown, and a string of celebrity deaths already covered within the first few months of the year. If things weren’t already bleak enough, Cyclone Nisarga is very likely to move northwards until the morning of June 2 and reach north Maharashtra and south Gujarat coast around June 3. Can we get a break, 2020?

The cyclone track issued by the IMD shows that Nisarga will cross very close to the Mumbai coast while entering the land. Maharashtra and Gujarat are on pre-cyclone alert as very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall is expected in parts of the states on Wednesday and Thursday.

“The depression in the south west Arabian Sea is likely to concentrate into a deep depression in the next 12 hours and in the next 24 hours it is going to become a cyclone. Till June 2 it will move in northerly direction then it will move towards north east direction & cross Harihareshwar (Maharashtra) & Daman coast on the evening of June 3,” said Anand Kumar Sharma, Deputy Director General IMD.

“Squally wind, speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph, very likely to prevail over Southeast and adjoining east-central Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep area and along and off Kerala coast during next 48 hours,” IMD said in the bulletin.

IMD’s high-resolution model has predicted landfall in South Maharashtra at modest intensity. “This would be a good outcome for Mumbai, at least. But it’s far from certain,” said atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel.

The IMD issued a red-colour-coded warning to coastal Maharashtra and Gujarat. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea over the next few days, warning that the sea condition is likely to be rough to very rough.

The National Disaster Management Authority of India has shared a list of do’s and don’ts for the people of Maharashtra and Gujarat. People are advised to ignore rumours, keep phones charged to ensure connectivity, keep documents and valuables in water proof containers, secure the house, prepare an emergency kit, and untie animals for their safety. Indoors, people are advised to switch off electrical and gas supply, keep doors and windows shut, drink boiled water, and only rely on official warnings.

The warning of a cyclonic storm in Maharashtra and Gujarat comes just days after super cyclone Amphan battered parts of West Bengal and Odisha, leading to at least 98 deaths and lakhs of people rendered hopeless. One can only pray against the fury of nature, and hope Nisarga will be kinder.