Mumbai escapes Nisarga’s fury; 2 dead in Pune district

Cyclone shows signs of weakening; 60,000 evacuees to return home by Thursday morning, says govt

Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, June 3

Mumbai and its surrounding areas escaped Cyclone Nisarga's fury as the storm shifted course southwards and made landfall in neighbouring Raigad district. The cyclone, however, left two people dead and three injured in Pune district.

Manjabai Anant Navale (65), resident of Vahagaon village in Khed tehsil, died as a wall of her house collapsed and tin sheets on the roof were blown away in the wind.

"Three other members of Navale family also sustained injuries. They have been shifted to a hospital in Chakan," said a senior district official.

Prakash Mokar (52), a resident of Mokarwadi in Haveli tehsil, also died after the roof of his house was blown away and he was injured while trying to catch the tin sheets, said an officer from the District Disaster Management Cell.

Two cattle died due to electrocution in Mulshi tehsil while the tin roofs of three schools and a gram panchayat office in Velhe tehsil were blown away due to gusty winds.

According to officials at the state government's disaster management cell, the authorities were preparing for a worst-case scenario where Mumbai and its neighbouring areas like Navi Mumbai, Thane and Panvel would have taken the full might of the cyclone.

The FedEx MD-11 plane skids off the runway while landing during heavy rain, as severe cyclonic storm Nisarga made landfall, at Mumbai Airport, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. PTI

"The landfall of the cyclone began at 12.30 pm at Alibaug and the process was completed by 2.30 PM.... The cyclone has started weakening and wind speeds have fallen to 70 km per hour," IMD officials said on Wednesday evening.

A cargo aircraft belonging to FedEx overshot the main runway of the Mumbai airport on its arrival from Bengaluru, Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) said. 

The aircraft was towed away from the runway and there has been no disruption in flight operations, it said. 

"Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport witnessed a runway excursion today (Wednesday) with FedEx flight 5033 arriving from Bengaluru. The incident occurred when the MD11 aircraft landed on runway 14/32," it said. 

There has been extensive damage caused to property due to gusty winds. "Mobile towers at many places in Alibaug and other parts of Raigad district have been blown off by the winds. The roofs of many houses have been blown off and many cars have been damaged by tree falls," a district official from Raigad said.

Also read: Cyclone Nisarga: 10 sailors rescued off Ratnagiri coast

He added that power supply in many areas have been disrupted as the pylons carrying electricity wires have been disrupted. "We will shortly restore power supply in these areas," he added.

A corporation worker clears an uprooted tree that fell on a road during Cyclone Nisarga at Juinagar in Navi Mumbai, Wednesday, June 3, 2020. PTI 

Even in Mumbai officials of the BMC reported 85 cases of trees being uprooted by strong winds. At many places vehicles have been damaged by falling trees. However, public transport has been halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and people largely stayed indoors, officials said.

The Maharashtra government which was bracing itself for severe damage said more than 60,000 people who were evacuated from the coastal areas of the state will return home by Thursday morning. Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) is expected to resume flights from the city airport from 7 pm onwards.

The Bandra-Worli Sealink which was closed for traffic as a precautionary measure is set to open by late Wednesday evening, according to officials. With agency inputs

Workers clear an uprooted tree that fell on a road after rains and strong winds triggered by Cyclone Nisarga, in Mumbai, on Wednesday, June 3, 2020. PTI

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