MUMBAI: Mumbai, India's financial capital, and many other parts of Maharashtra are almost literally in the 'eye of a storm' after Cyclone Nisarga began its landfall along the Maharastra coast near Alibaug on Wednesday afternoon. The process of Cyclone Nisarga completing its landfall, during which it is expected to wreak havoc along its path, is expected to take at least three hours, Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
IMD in a tweet said, "The centre of the super cyclone 'NISARGA' is very close to Maharashtra coast. The landfall process started and it will be completed during the next 3 hours. The Northeast sector of the eye of the severe cyclonic storm 'NISARGA' is entering into the land."
Earlier, IMD Director-General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra cautioned people to remain safe as the cyclone is expected to cause severe damage such as uprooting trees, destroying electricity lines and thatched houses. He also advised against road and rail traffic during this time.
"In addition, heavy rainfall has already started over the Konkan area, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in the southern Konkan districts leading to heavy to extremely heavy rainfall in these areas," he said.
The IMD has also predicted that light to moderate rainfall will take place at most places with isolated heavy falls likely over coastal Karnataka and Marathawada during the next six hours. Extreme heavy falls are also likely at isolated places over north Konkan (Mumbai, Palghar, Thane, Raigad districts) and north Madhya Maharashtra on Wednesday.
"After the landfall, the Severe Cyclonic Storm is very likely to maintain its Cyclonic Storm intensity for about six hours while moving north-northeastwards across north Madhya Maharashtra. Under its influence gale wind reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph very likely to prevail over Pune, Ahmadnagar and 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph adjoining Beed, Nashik, and Aurangabad districts of Maharashtra," it said in a bulletin.