Mumbai: The Indian Meteorological Department on Monday issued red alert for Mumbai, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Dhule, Nandurbar and Nashik districts between June 3 and 4, due to the possibility of a severe cyclonic storm ‘Nisarga’. The storm is likely to bring winds of over 100 km per hour to Mumbai.

The weather department said that the depression over the south-east and east-central Arabian Sea near Lakshadweep area is expected to intensify into a severe cyclone. Very heavy to torrential rainfall is predicted today and tomorrow in Mumbai and adjoining areas.

On Monday (June 1), Union home minister Amit Shah had held a video conference with Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the state’s preparedness in dealing with the cyclone. 

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The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has already placed several rescue teams at vulnerable positions across the state. These include – three teams in Mumbai, two in Palghar, and one each in Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg.

“Nisarga is a severe cyclone and we’re expecting a wind speed of 90-100 kmph, which I think is negotiable. Still, as a precautionary measure, we are going to start the evacuation of people from the coastal areas of the two states (Maharashtra and Gujarat) soon,” NDRF director-general SN Pradhan told reporters.

“Central and state government agencies are trying to take all possible steps to prevent damage. We’re advising fishermen in Maharashtra, Kerala, coastal Karnataka, Gujarat, Goa, and Lakshadweep to avoid venturing out to the sea till Thursday. Those out should return immediately, as the sea can be very rough for the next three days,” said Dr Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, director-general, IMD.

“We can expect very heavy to extremely heavy rains (more than 20 centimetres) in all these districts of Maharashtra. Inundation is also expected in low-lying areas,” he added.

All fishermen have already been asked to return from the sea by their respective district collectors, on orders of the national and state disaster response teams. Steps are being taken to ensure that there is no extensive disruption of power supply.