According to reports from the Meteorological Department of India, a cyclone is expected to land near Alibag in the Indian state of Maharashtra – a region already in the grip of the coronavirus impact – Wednesday afternoon.
Maharashtra has been hit harder by Covid-19 than any other state in India. A total of 72,300 cases and 2,465 virus-related deaths have been reported there and the storm represents a new challenge for authorities attempting to enforce social exclusion rules.
The department said so Cyclone Nisarga it will pass through northern Maharashtra, including the city of Mumbai – which is home to over 18 million people – and the adjacent state of the Gujarat coast in western India.
The eye of the cyclone has a diameter of about 65 km (40 miles), observed through radar, and the wind speed was from 90 to 100 km / h (56 to 62 mph), with gusts of up to 110 kph (68 mph), Wednesday morning local time, according to the department.
More than 60,000 people from Maharashtra’s coastal districts, including Mumbai, and over 50,000 people living in flat areas along the southern Gujarat coast have been evacuated, according to the authorities.
The National Disaster Response Force in India has deployed 20 teams in Maharashtra, 16 teams in Gujarat and two teams in the territory of the Union of Daman and Diu.
At least 90 people were killed and thousands more were left homeless after Cyclone Amphan crashed into the coastal towns and cities of India and Bangladesh last month. Amphan was the most powerful cyclone never recorded in the Gulf of Bengal, but it weakened before landing.