Home World news Mumbai streets deserted as India's biggest city braces for cyclone

Mumbai streets deserted as India’s biggest city braces for cyclone

MUMBAI (Reuters) – Bracing for the primary ever cyclone to hit Mumbai in residing reminiscence, individuals in India’s most populous metropolis stayed off the streets and scrambled to guard their properties earlier than the torrential rains and gale-force winds struck.

A abandoned street is seen at Marine Drive earlier than cyclone Nisarga makes its landfall, in Mumbai, India, June 3, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

Authorities had been working till late within the evening on Tuesday to maneuver hundreds of individuals away from the coast, amid fears {that a} metropolis already ravaged by COVID-19 infections may see its healthcare system additional overwhelmed.

“Now we have seen rains, however we’ve by no means seen a cyclone within the metropolis. We don’t know what harm it can do,” Shantaram Terekar, who lives in a one-room hutment within the metropolis advised Reuters.

Terekar mentioned he had switched off electrical energy and put some tarpaulin to safe his skinny metallic roof.

India’s largest container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Belief (JNPT), on the outskirts of Mumbai, mentioned it had shut for 24 hours, and solely 19 flights had been resulting from function from Mumbai’s airport.

The cyclonic storm within the Arabian Sea was “very prone to intensify right into a Extreme Cyclonic Storm” afterward Wednesday, the India Meteorological Division (IMD) mentioned, predicting winds gusting as much as 120 km per hour (75 miles per hour).

The cyclone, referred to as Nisarga, may make landfall on the coastal border of Maharashtra and Gujarat states, the place officers have evacuated greater than 100,000 individuals.

Cyclones usually skirt Mumbai, a metropolis of greater than 20 million individuals, although yearly through the June-September monsoon season torrential rains flood roads, and produce a halt to a suburban railway service that serves thousands and thousands of individuals.

Mumbai emergency providers are already scuffling with the nation’s largest outbreak of the novel coronaries. The town and its surrounding areas have to date reported some 55,000 COVID-19 circumstances and greater than 1,700 deaths from the illness.

In Mumbai, authorities shifted 150 Covid-19 sufferers to different hospitals because the newly constructed makeshift hospital they had been being handled in was positioned in low-lying space.

(This story corrects cyclone identify to Nisarga in seventh paragraph)

Further reporting by Sumit Khanna in Ahmedabad; Enhancing by Sanjeev Miglani & Simon Cameron-Moore

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