Home / News / India /  Cyclone Nisarga: IMD scales up warning; to hit west coast as severe storm

NEW DELHI/ERNAKULAM: Cyclone Nisarga could hit the Maharashtra-Goa coast as a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ on the afternoon of 3 June, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) warned early Tuesday.

The weather department said the low pressure system formed in the Arabian Sea has intensified into a deep depression and would become a cyclone within the next few hours. It would continue to gain strength and turn into a 'severe cyclonic storm' late Tuesday evening.

IMD has sounded a red warning for the coastal areas and also issued an orange alert for Kerala, asking the state to be prepared for flood-like situation in some districts.

The current forecast suggests the cyclone would cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag, Raigarh district of Maharashtra as a severe cyclonic storm on 3 June afternoon. The storm would bring devastating winds of 100-110 kmph, gusting to 120 kmph.

Low-lying areas in Raigarh district could be inundated by the storm surges, which are among the most dangerous threats of a cyclonic storm. This could also risk flooding in the urban cities, including Mumbai, which have been rendered vulnerable due to unplanned urban development.

Rainfall has already begun in parts of coastal Karnataka and Madhya Maharashtra and would intensify during the next few hours. As the system churns up the Arabian Sea, it would cause heavy rains over north Konkan (Mumbai, Palgar, Thane, Raigad districts) and north Madhya Maharashtra, with some places even expected to record more than 20 cm rains in next 24 hours.

The rains would gain intensity on Wednesday over south Konkan ( Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts) and Goa and south Gujarat region (Valsad, Navsari, Dang, Daman, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Surat districts).

The developments could be a double blow for the states already struggling to contain the covid-19 pandemic. The events could also be a precursor for a long-drawn battle for the coastal states against nature's forces as IMD has predicted a normal monsoon lasting over four months in India.

Kerala has been witnessing heavy showers accompanied by gusty winds and rough sea-conditions since Sunday, when the south-west monsoon officially hit the coastal state.

States have been bracing for cyclone, setting up quarantine centers and asking fishermen not to venture into the sea.

The system is currently centred over Eastcentral Arabian Sea about 280 km west of Panjim (Goa), 450 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and is moving nearly northwards. After a few hours, it would recurve north-northeastwards towards the Indian coast, said IMD.

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