Is Maha Prepared for Cyclone Nisarga Amid COVID? Minister Answers

Maharashtra Minister Vijay Namdevrao Wadettiwar spoke to The Quint about the state’s preparedness.

2 min read

Cyclone Nisarga is set to make landfall in Maharashtra on Wednesday, 3 June, with an expected wind speed of around 100 kmph and disrupt lives in the coastal areas of both Maharashtra and Gujarat.

These two states are already grappling with COVID-19 as cases have been increasing sharply. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, how prepared is the state of Maharashtra for the cyclone, and what measures has it taken for the people living along the coast?

To find some answers, The Quint spoke with Maharashtra Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Namdevrao Wadettiwar. He said, “We have informed all the district collectors about the cyclone and told them to be on alert. All the boats that go out in the sea for fishing have been told to stay in.”

“We have moved people who are living along the coast and sea shores to safer places. Arrangements have been made to provide them with food and other essentials.”
Namdevrao Wadettiwar

Stating that the government prepared beforehand, the minister said, “Since 29 May, the NDRF has deployed six battalions in Mumbai, Ratnagiri, Palghar and other areas.”

“While I will not be able to provide the exact number of people who have been rehabilitated, more than 50 percent of those in extreme danger zone have been moved to safer locations.”
Namdevrao Wadettiwar

Keeping in mind the various precautions and the need for social distancing due to coronavirus, the SDRF and NDRF teams have also been provided with masks and sanitizers, among other things.

When asked about the low-lying areas in Mumbai, the minister said that the destruction depends on the speed of the cyclone, however, the government’s primary motive is to move people to safer locations, especially the fishermen.

The minister also stated that the district administration and collectors are already working to evacuate and take care of the people living in the most-affected areas.

The IMD on Wednesday said that Cyclone 'Nisarga' has intensified into a "severe cyclonic storm". It is likely to make a landfall in the afternoon of Wednesday.

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