10 NDRF teams deployed as cyclonic storm approaches: Maha CM

(Eds: Adds quotes and details) Mumbai, Jun 2 (PTI) Ten teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed for rescue operations in view of the cyclonic storm 'Nisarga', which is likely to hit the west coast of Maharashtra on Wednesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday.

The impending cyclonic storm, which might turn into a 'severe cyclonic storm', could pose challenges for Maharashtra which is already battling a steep surge in coronavirus cases, during relief and rescue operations involving many people.

'Out of the 16 NDRF units, 10 have been deployed for rescue operation during the cyclone, and 6 SDRF units are in reserve,' the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said in a graphic shared on Twitter.

It said precautions will be taken during the relief and rehabilitation works, considering prevalence of COVID-19.

As of June 1, Maharashtra reported more than 70,000 COVID-19 cases, including 41,099 from Mumbai, the highest in the country.

Elaborating on the government's preparedness for the approaching cyclonic storm, the CMO tweeted that an alert has been issued for Mumbai city and suburbs, Thane, Palghar, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.

As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm will cross North Maharashtra and adjoining South Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibaug (in Maharashtra's Raigad), on June 3 as a 'severe cyclonic storm' with a maximum sustained wind 100-110 gusting to 120 kmph and bring in very heavy rains.

The IMD said that the cyclone will have an impact on Mumbai.

Meanwhile, Thackeray's office said those staying in 'kuccha' houses are being moved to safer places.

'Slum dwellers in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, particularly those living in low-lying areas, have been instructed to evacuate,' it said.

It also said non-COVID hospitals are being made available.

The state government is also taking measures to prevent power outages and is also taking precautions in chemical industries and the nuclear power plant in Palghar and Raigad districts.

'Teams are prepared to tackle the likely damage that will be caused by tree falls, landslides and heavy rainfall,' the CMO said.

The control room at the Mantralaya (state secretariat) is operational round the clock and instructions have been given to the Army, Air Force, Navy and the IMD to ensure coordination, Thackerays office said. PTI ENM NSK NSK