Mumbai and its suburbs received unseasonal rain on Tuesday as Cyclone Ockhi moved towards Maharashtra and Gujarat. The city’s civic body the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has, however, told people not to worry, since the cyclone has not had a huge impact on the city. All road and rail transport is running smoothly, The Times of India reported the BMC as saying.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “continuously monitoring the situation” and asked Bharatiya Janata Party workers in Gujarat to help people. “Our Karyakartas should devote themselves to providing all possible assistance and stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow citizens,” Modi said.
Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah cancelled his rallies in Rajula town in Amreli and in the towns of Mahuva and Shihor in Bhavnagar district, reported PTI. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally in the town of Anjar in Kutch but cancelled election meetings in Morbi, Dhrangadhra and Surendranagar.
In the last 24 hours, 22.6 mm rain was recorded in south Mumbai, while the suburbs received 22 mm of rain, the India Meteorological Department said.
The weather department said the storm, which was categorised as a “very severe cyclone” and battered parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Lakshadweep over the weekend, is likely to weaken gradually as it crosses south Gujarat by midnight on Tuesday.
However, it has forecast heavy rain over Palghar, Thane, Mumbai and Raigad districts through Tuesday. The Maharashtra government declared Tuesday a precautionary holiday for schools and colleges in Mumbai. Traffic on the city’s Eastern and Western Express Highways slowed down after a spell of rain in the morning, PTI reported.
Some parts of the Mumbai-Pune Expressway even experienced a hailstorm, the police said.
Rescue efforts in the southern states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep have been under way since Saturday. So far, various agencies have rescued 1,540 people, including fishermen, affected by Cyclone Ockhi, the Centre said on Monday, according to PTI.