Mumbai, west coast brace for Cyclone Phyan


Mumbai : India’s financial capital Mumbai and many areas along the west coast were Wednesday braced for Cyclone Phyan that was likely to intensify and cross the coast between north Maharashtra and south Gujarat late in the night.

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an ‘orange’ alert, one step below the red alert put out for a really severe cyclone.

The cyclone had moved northwards over the Arabian Sea overnight and was about 250 km west-northwest of Goa, 350 km south-southwest of Mumbai and 620 km south-southwest of Surat at 5.30 a.m., the IMD said on its website.

“The system is likely to intensify further and move north-northeastwards and cross south Gujarat and north Maharashtra coast between Alibagh and Valsad by late evening/night,” the IMD said at its cyclone warning issued at 9.50 a.m. Phyan had speeded up since the last alert had been issued.

Mumbai and Maharashtra disaster management departments have warned that heavy to very heavy rain could lash many parts of this city and low-lying areas could get flooded. Factories along the north Maharashtra coast have been asked to take special precautions.

Fishermen in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat, besides the Lakshadweep Islands, have been advised not to go out to sea.

Offshore oil rigs in Bombay High were battening down, according to local media reports.

The IMD expects that maximum sustained surface wind speed under the influence of Cyclone Phyan will be 70-80 kmph between 5.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. Wednesday, gusting up to 90 kmph.

Mumbai and its surroundings were already witnessing non-stop rain since Monday, bringing respite from the sultry weather and bringing down the temperature. Residents are hoping it will help bridge the 30 percent rainfall deficit this monsoon.

The civic authorities have kept pumps in readiness at several coastal areas of Mumbai like Worli, Bandra, Juhu, Versova and Malad which could get flooded during the impending storm.

The weatherman said late Wednesday morning that under the influence of the cyclone, “rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy fall (equal to or more than 25 cm) is likely over Konkan and Goa and Madhya Maharashtra during next 36 hours”.

“Rainfall at many places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places is likely over coastal Karnataka during next 12 hours. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (equal to or more than 25 cm) is likely to commence over south Gujarat from today afternoon.

“Sea condition will be very rough over along and off Maharashtra and south Gujarat coasts.”