The deep depression in the Arabian Sea strengthened into a cyclonic storm ‘Nisarga’ on Tuesday morning and will make landfall close to Alibag, 94 kms south of Mumbai on the afternoon of June 3.
It will make landfall as a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ with a wind speed of 100-110 kmh gusting to 120 kmh.
The cyclonic storm is currently located 280 km west-southwest of Panjim (Goa), 430km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 640 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat).
Dr Sunita Devi, India Meteorological Department’s in-charge of cyclones, said, “The cyclone will further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours.”
It will cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag in Maharashtra’s Raigad district during the afternoon of June 3.
IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra on Monday said that the cyclonic storm will affect the coastal districts of Maharashtra, including Mumbai, more than Gujarat and neighbouring states.
The storm surge is expected to be one to two metres above the astronomical tide and is very likely to inundate low-lying areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts at the time of landfall.
Fishermen are warned not to venture into the sea. 31 NDRF teams have also been deployed to carry out rescue operations. Widespread damage is also expected.
Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, said, “Cyclone Nisarga is about to scrape around Mumbai on June 3. If that happens, it will be the first-ever cyclone in recorded history to hit the Maharashtra coast in June.”
Another researcher of the same institute said that it will be the “second cyclone” in recorded history that will be hitting the Maharashtra coast in the pre-monsoon season i.e. April-June.
“The one and only cyclone in the past that hit the Maharashtra coast in the pre-monsoon season was in May, 1961,” Vineet Kumar said.
Karnataka, Maharashtra setting up panel to manage floods in monsoon
Karnataka and Maharashtra would set up a joint committee to manage floods in the Krishna river basin during the monsoon when heavy rains lash both states, an official said on Thursday.
“The joint committee will monitor and control floods if heavy rain water overflows in the Krishna river basin across the twin states to protect lives and property,” the official told IANS after state water resources minister Ramesh Jarkiholi met his Maharashtra counterpart Jayant Patil in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The committee will have the state-run Neeravari Nigam chief engineer and its superintendent as members from Karnataka and their counterparts from Maharashtra.
Heavy and widespread monsoon rains in August 2019 resulted in Krishna and Bheema rivers overflowing from Maharashtra and flooding Bagalkot, Vijapura and Belagavi districts, resulting in death and damage in the state’s northwest region.
“The committee will also ensure coordination between the two states to avoid flooding if the rivers and their tributaries turn spate due to heavy rains in their catchment areas,” said the official.
The two ministers also discussed the sharing of the Krishna water during summer and notifications of the Krishna Tribunal award for both the states.
“The states will urge the central government to notify the Krishna Tribunal Award at the earliest for using the upstream river water allocated to them along with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh in the downstream,” added the official.
Both the states will lead a joint delegation to the Centre after the Covid-19 crisis for gazette notification of the tribunal award.
Bagalakot, Belagavi, Kalaburagi, Raichur, Vijayapura and Yadigiri districts in the state’s Deccan plateau face acute shortage of drinking water as they are in the country’s second most arid region after Rajasthan.
As one of the largest dams in Maharashtra’s south-west region, Koyana reservoir is located across its river at Mahabaleshwar in Satara district, while Ujjani dam is across Bhima, a tributary of Krishna river in Solapur district.
Though the 3-member tribunal, set up in April 1969 under the chairmanship of R.S. Bachawat to adjudicate the Krishna river water utilization among its basin states, gave its final verdict in May 1976, it was challenged by then undivided Andhra Pradesh for more allocation of the water.
As the second biggest river in peninsular India, the 1,300km Krishna river originates near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and enters Karnataka after covering 303km and travels 480km in the southern state to cross into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before joining the Bay of Bengal in the east.
Monsoon active in plains, showers in parts of north India
The monsoon continues to remain active in the plains across the country though sluggishness persists in northwest India. However, there is a possibility of rain in some places in Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and south and east Rajasthan in the next 24 hours.
According to the private weather forecaster Skymet on Tuesday, there may be scattered showers in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Telangana in the next 24 hours. However, in Tamil Nadu, coastal Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, western Uttar Pradesh and south and east Rajasthan monsoon may remain sluggish with the possibility of rain in some places.
According to Skymet, the monsoon may weaken in Gujarat but moderate-to-heavy rain may continue at some places in Saurashtra while in Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala the monsoon may remain active in some parts, leading to heavy rain in these areas.
Konkan, Goa, coastal Karnataka, central Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha may receive light-to-moderate rainfall.
Some parts of Konkan Goa, Odisha, Kerala, eastern and central Uttar Pradesh, north-eastern Madhya Pradesh, sub-Himalayan region West Bengal, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Assam received moderate-to-heavy rain.
Light-to-moderate rain was recorded at some places in Bihar, western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, south-eastern Rajasthan, eastern region of Gujarat, central Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka, Vidarbha, coastal Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep. Some areas of Haryana and Punjab also received light-to-moderate rainfall.
Rain clobbers Maharashtra, high alert in Konkan
Heavy rains continued to batter coastal Konkan Maharashtra, including Mumbai, for the third consecutive day on Sunday, and the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued high alerts for the next two-five days, officials said.
As incessant rains pounded the city, Mumbai’s Powai Lake started overflowing on Sunday noon. The famed picnic spot of Bhushi Dam in Lonavala (Pune district) also started overflowing after three days of rain in the region, bringing cheers to the locals.
Over the weekend, the entire Konkan belt and parts of western and northern Maharashtra received good rain, and upbeat farmers got busy with the sowing season.
The South-west Monsoon, which usually hits Mumbai around June 10, was disturbed owing to the Cyclone Nisarga that hit Raigad on June 3.
After over a three-week delay, Mumbai finally got the first monsoon showers and the past three days seemed to make up for the season’s early deficit. On Sunday, Mumbai received 8-10 cm rain.
Based on satellite and radar images, fresh heavy rainfall warnings had been issued for the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts, said IMD Deputy Director-General K.S. Hosalikar.
Heavy overnight rain also saw water-logging in several parts of Mumbai, including Chembur, Kings Circle, Sion, Dadar, Parel, Goregaon and Malad.
The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rain over the next three days (till July 7) in Mumbai, Thane, Palghar and Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg (till July 9), and similar conditions over the next two days in Pune, Nashik, Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Satara and Kolhapur.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the Arabian Sea due to strong winds along the coast and in the high seas, and 3-4.1 metres high waves off the Maharashtra and Goa coasts over the next five days (till July 9).
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