No one can go out to public places like beaches, parks, and walks along the Mumbai coast, as Cyclone Nisarga is forecast to make landfall around noon on Wednesday, police said in a nightly order.
Maharashtra, Gujarat, Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli have been put on alert when parts of these two states and the Union Territories fall in the path of the cyclone that developed in an area of low pressure on the Arabian Sea. .
The ban is from Wednesday morning until noon the next day, police in the order said, anyone caught violating the ban will face criminal action.
Authorities are not leaving anything to chance as Maharashtra is also dealing with the highest number of coronavirus cases in India. The state is struggling to cope with an overloaded health infrastructure.
Any damage left by the cyclone will add more stress and could complicate the fight against COVID-19.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, in a televised speech, asked the people of Mumbai to “stay inside” for two days. He asked them to be prepared to face possible power outages when strong winds hit the city. Charge your devices and have emergency lights on hand if possible, he said.
“The cyclone could be more severe than what the state has faced so far … Tomorrow and the day after tomorrow are crucial in coastal areas … The activities that resumed (as part of the closure reduction) will remain closed there for the next two days, people should remain vigilant, “Thackeray said.
Cyclone Nisarga is the first such storm to threaten Mumbai in more than a century. The Indian Department of Meteorology said Cyclone Nisarga is likely to intensify in a “severe cyclonic storm” with heavy rainfall and a wind speed of 110 km per hour soon.
More than 10,000 people, including some coronavirus patients, have been moved to safer locations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Thackeray, Prime Minister Gujarat, the administrator of Daman and Diu, and the senior official of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and assured them of the support of the center.
The National Disaster Response Force, or NDRF, has deployed 40 teams in Maharashtra, Gujarat and the two Union Territories. The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard are also on standby to provide assistance when called.