At least 100,000 people including coronavirus patients were being moved to safety as India’s west coast braced for a cyclone – the first such storm to threaten Mumbai in more than 70 years.
Cyclone Nisarga intensified into a severe cyclonic storm Wednesday morning, and is expected to cross the Maharashtra coast this afternoon. Thousands of residents have been evacuated from along the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat, two of the worst-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD), the cyclone lay 95 km south-southwest of Alibagh (Maharashtra), 150 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 380 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat). The cyclone has been moving north-northeastwards at a speed of 16 kmph, with a wind speeds ranging between 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph.
The Indian Navy and teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) are on standby to conduct rescue and relief operations.