The east-central Arabian Sea, which intensified into cyclone Nisarga on Tuesday noon is expected to make landfall as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100 to 110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph near Alibag in Raigad district on June 3, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
It started as a warning on Sunday for mid-week heavy rains in Mumbai and by Monday, rapidly developed into a red alert for several coastal districts as the deep depression progressed over the Arabian Sea.
The IMD said that the cyclone was likely to cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Daman and Harihareshwar in Raigad on Wednesday afternoon.
The western coastline from Konkan’s Sindhudurg and Ratnagiri to Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar and other districts of Gujarat including Surat and Baruch have received wind warnings ranging from 55-65 kmph (gusting to 75kmph) and increasing to gusting speeds of 115-120kmph in four Maharashtra districts of Palghar, Mumbai, Thane and Raigad.
Though a wide expanse of districts stands to be affected across coastal Maharashtra and Gujarat, higher wind speeds in the four districts mentioned above offer an indication of where the cyclone is likely to have maximum impact.
“The landfall location will be very close to Alibag but extensive damage can be expected in Mumbai also. For Mumbai, Thane and Raigad there can be a storm surge of 1-2 meters and a warning for extremely heavy rainfall has been issued,” M Mohapatra, director-general IMD, said.
Additional storm surge warnings — the shoreward movement of water above astronomical tide height under the action of wind stress — have also been issued for Raigad, Thane, Greater Mumbai and Ratnagiri. Storm surges indicate the extent of inundation to expect. A storm surge of 0.5m to 1.3m over coastal Alibag may result in flooding up to 1.4km of the low-lying area.
The IMD sounded a red alert as extremely heavy rains (over 20 cm) are expected in parts of Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Sindhudurg, and Palghar among other districts.