Less than two weeks ago Cyclone Amphan passed through West Bengal on its way to Bangladesh. Now India is bracing itself for another one. This time it is ‘Cyclone Nisarga’ in the West, headed towards the coastline of Northern Maharashtra and Southern Gujarat.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Nisarga is likely to make a landfall between Harihareshwar, in Maharashtra’s Raigad district, and Daman, on 3 June. The IMD has also issued red alerts to other districts as well. These are Palghar, Thane, Raigad, Dhule, Nandurbar, and Nashik, from 3-4 June.
As the cyclone inches closer, it is vital to understand the risks it brings. The Maharashtra Government, as a precautionary measure, deployed several units of the National Disaster Response Force in vulnerable districts.
But, it is also important for people in these regions to take active measures to save themselves, their families, and their properties.
Here are tips to keep yourself and yourself and your home safe:
- Move to a cyclone-resistant place: If you live in an old building, try to move to a safe place that can withstand strong winds and heavy rains.
- Prepare an emergency kit: According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) an emergency kit that consists of first-aid supplies, battery-operated torch, extra batteries, important papers (ration card, aadhaar card, and voter id), drinking water, emergency food supplies such as biscuits, and more.
- Secure your vehicle: Heavy winds can tip-over bikes and cars. It can also cause flying debris to crash into your vehicle. If possible, park your vehicle under a covered parking space, or place it behind a sturdy wall which can protect it from strong winds.
- Keep a battery-operated radio: During such situations, access to television and internet is limited or completely down. The radio will give you access to reliable sources of news and important information.
During the cyclone:
- Switch off your main electricity: During a cyclone, it is common for power lines to break down from strong winds and heavy rain. To prevent any fire-related risk, ensure all electrical devices are switched off and if possible unplugged.
- Close your doors and windows: Sometimes, out of curiosity, people open windows or doors to feel the wind speed. This can cause damage to you and your home. Cyclone winds cannot damage a room or house if it’s properly sealed.
- Switch off your gas regulator: Due to the fast winds of a cyclone, there are chances of debris crashing into your house. Gas pipes are vulnerable to this and keeping the regulator off can prevent any fire hazard.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)