Worst over; NDRF teams to stay deployed in Cyclone Nisarga-affected areas: DG

New Delhi, Jun 3 (PTI) Cyclone Nisarga, which slammed the Maharashtra coast with wind speeds of up to 120 kmph, caused minimal damage to life and property and the 'worst is over', the NDRF chief said on Wednesday evening.

However, NDRF teams will remain deployed and assist state authorities in recovery work, said S N Pradhan, the chief of the federal contingency force, in a video message.

'Whatever damage has happened has been generally limited to Raigad district and its talukas,' he said, adding the 'worst is over'.

The cyclone, which originated in the Arabian Sea, made a landfall in Alibaug town in the costal Raigad district at 12:30 pm and the process continued for two hours. By evening, it had weakened into a cyclonic storm and is likely to further lose its intensity.

'We have an unconfirmed report of one death in Raigad district due to the cyclone but that has to be confirmed by the state authorities.

'Overall, the worst has passed and the cyclone situation was well negotiated because of timely preparations and coordination between central and state authorities,' the NDRF chief said.

He said about one lakh people were evacuated from the affected areas.

The NDRF had deployed 43 teams in the two states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, where the cyclone was headed.

An NDRF team has about 45 personnel each and they are equipped with pole and tree cutters, portable communication equipment, satellite phones and basic medical kits.

The NDRF had deployed 20 teams in Maharashtra -- one in Sindhudurg; two each in Ratnagiri, Thane and Palghar; five in Raigad; and 8 in Mumbai, a spokesperson said.

One team was reserved at the NDRF base in Pune, he said.

In Gujarat, the force has deployed 16 teams -- one each in Gandhi Nagar, Bharuch, Amreli, Gir Somnath, Anand, Bhav Nagar and Kheda; two in Navsari; three in Surat; and four in Valsad.

Two teams are kept as reserves at Vadodara, the NDRF spokesperson said.

Also, two teams each have been deployed in Daman (Daman and Diu) and Silvassa (Dadra & Nagar Haveli).

'All teams are on alert mode in their respective locations,' the spokesperson added. PTI NES ABH ABH