Cyclone Ockhi: Mumbai on target; schools shut, Railway opens emergency cell

A relief worker places sand bags on the banks of a beach in Kochi in wake of cyclone Ockhi on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)
The Maharashtra government has declared a holiday for schools and colleges in Mumbai and adjoining districts on Tuesday due to "serious weather predictions" in view of Cyclone Ockhi.

An official at the Mumbai office of India Meteorological Department said on account of the cyclone, the megapolis has started receiving rainfall due to spread of clouds.

The disaster management unit of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued an advisory against visiting beaches in view of the high tide alert issued for tonight and tomorrow morning due to the cyclone.

"Precautionary holiday declared on 5/12/17 for schools and colleges in Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Sindhudurg, Thane, Raigad and Palghar Districts for the safety of the students due to the serious weather predictions on #CycloneOckhi #MumbaiRains," state Education Minister Vinod Tawde tweeted.

According to the IMD official, a warning of heavy rainfall was issued in north Konkan and north Madhya Maharashtra.

"The centre of the cyclone is around 600 km from Mumbai but its cloud band has spread along the coastal areas. Hence, light rainfall has started in Mumbai. The intensity of rains will increase as the cyclone approaches," the official said.

He said as the cyclone approaches Maharashtra, the clouds would become denser and wind velocity would increase.

"We are expecting wind velocity of around 50-60 km per hour over the next two days," the official said, adding that in view of the cyclone, the IMD has forecast a drop in maximum temperatures by two to three degrees and a drop in minimum temperatures by about one to two degrees.

Following the threat, the Central Railway Mumbai Division updated all emergency number and also opened up an emergency cell at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Kalyan.

"More than 250 railway police force and Maharashtra State Security Force personnel have been deployed on crowd management & other related activities at stations, yards etc. Break-down equipment such as Accident Relief Train, Accident Relief medical van, Road ART has been kept in readiness for any eventuality,” Central Railway tweeted.

CR gears up to the cyclone with elaborate RPF and MSSF arrangements for crowd control at all stations

— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) December 4, 2017

IMD latest INSAT 3D Image. #MumbaiRains #CycloneOckhi

— Mumbai Weather (@IndianWeather_) December 5, 2017

#MumbaiRains: Doppler Radar shows 39.05% cloud build-up in #Mumbai. More rains expected today. #CycloneOckhi #OckhiCyclone

— SkymetWeather (@SkymetWeather) December 5, 2017

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