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coastal Maharashtra on alert - Today's Paper (The Hindu )

A Cyclone Vardah likely to bring rain, strong winds to State After completing its run in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Cyclone Vardah is expected to move westward and hit the Maharashtra coast by December 14 before merging into the Arabian Sea. The state disaster management cell has sounded a general alert in the coastal areas, including Mumbai, for the next 48 hours following a forecast of strong winds with speed of 80 km and “heavy rain” along the coast of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has also issued a general warning to those living in the low-lying areas of Mumbai, and asked fishermen to not venture into the sea. “We have taken all precautionary measures and only a generic advisory has been issued. There is no need to panic,” said Suhas Divase, senior official of the disaster cell. The cyclone is likely to result in a low pressure area, create dark clouds and lightning in general while leading to “moderate” rainfall in several parts of Maharashtra’s 750-km long coastline, officials told The Hindu. Senior officials said the areas likely to be most affected by cyclone are located in southern parts of Marathwada, some areas of south Konkan district of Ratnagiri, and some areas of Sindhudurg. The unexpected rain will be caused due to the low pressure in coastal parts of western Karnataka now moving towards Maharashtra and Gujarat. There are chances of rainfall in Rajasthan too, the IMD said. B.P. Yadav, IMD director, said, “For the next 48 hours heavy rain and strong winds could also hit Mumbai. We suggest people living in the low lying areas in Mumbai be careful. Fishermen are being alerted to not go to sea with their boats. Pune city could also see rains,” he said. The unseasonal rains could destroy standing crops too, senior IMD officials said. Mumbai’s low lying areas which are prone to flooding during heavy rainfall coupled with high tide every year, include Hindmata, Chedha Nagar (Ghatkopar), Milan Subway, areas outside Sion hospital, and Western Express highway near Santacruz.

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