Part of India, especially the Bombay region, has been threatened by the heaviest rainfall in 70 years. At least 100,000 residents, including 150 with Covid-19, were evacuated on Tuesday as Cyclone Nisarga approached the western coast of the country. Gujarat state authorities also plan to evacuate nearly 79,000 people living in coastal regions.
Officials in the economic capital, also known as Mumbai, have called on slum dwellers on the seaside to find safe haven in the face of cyclone Nisarga. It hit land this Wednesday in the north of the state of Maharashtra (West), of which Bombay is the capital, with winds of up to 120 km / h on average. The specialized site Cycloneoi explains that Nisarga moves at around 10 km / h, a rather slow speed, which allows time for precipitation and the wind to do even more damage than a cyclone which would circulate quickly.
"The inhabitants of the slums [...] located in the low areas were called to evacuate," said the head of the government of the state of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray. City health officials of 20 million people evacuated about 150 patients with the new coronavirus from a recently built field hospital and placed them in a place "with a covered roof." In the Palghar district, more than 21,000 villagers have been evacuated.
Meteorologists expect heavy precipitation and fear a lot of wind damage to slums huts and power lines. A one to two meter high storm surge could also flood coastal areas. Nisarga should in any case weaken relatively quickly once on earth, in a dozen hours, as this map shows.
Cyclones are extremely rare in Bombay, built facing the Arabian Sea. The last major storm to hit the city dates back to 1948. It killed 12 people and injured more than a hundred. Cycloneoi explains that Nisarga is only the fourth cyclone in this area since 1891. It hit land two weeks after the powerful cyclone Amphan, which killed a hundred in eastern India and Bangladesh, and caused considerable material damage.