Mumbai, grappling with pandemic, braces for Cyclone Nisarga Jun 03, 2020 0 369 12345 DPANew DelhiA tropical storm over the Arabian Sea approaching India’s western coast near Mumbai prompted authorities in the region to issue high alerts and evacuate thousands of people on Tuesday.Cyclon Nisarga is expected to make landfall close to Alibag, 100 kilometres south of Mumbai, on Wednesday afternoon, the Indian Meteorological Department said.The storm is expected to bring heavy rains and winds gusting up to 120 kilometres per hour.Mumbai, the country’s financial capital, is already struggling with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country, as the authorities battle with 41,000 infections.Officials have begun to evacuate people from vulnerable and low-lying areas in Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital. Up to 20,000 people are likely to be evacuated in neighbouring Gujarat, domestic media reported.Extra care is being taken to prevent disruption to the power supply as thousands of patients undergo treatment in hospitals throughout the region, National Disaster Response Force officials said.Hospitals not treating coronavirus patients will be preparing for those in need of medical assistance, they said.“While we fight COVID, we are prepping ourselves to also deal with cyclone... We have to safeguard our citizens and the city at large.All the wards have begun the pre cyclone preps,” Aaditya Thackeray, a leader of the governing Shiv Sena party, said on Twitter.Mumbai, with a population of 20 million, has faced relatively few cyclones during the past hundred years. This is the first major storm in decades.Past storms weathered by the city include Cyclone Phyan in 2009, with wind speeds up to 85 kilometres per hour, and another storm in 1961, according to IMD chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra.The approaching storm could create waves as high as two metres, which could inundate low-lying coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts, he said. Fishermen have been warned not to venture out to sea.The storm may cause major damage to power and communication lines, as well as huts, thatched homes and crops, Mohapatra said.The NDRF has mobilized 32 teams, and a total of 1,500 men are ready in the two states to help with evacuations and relief.Nisarga is the second cyclone to strike India in a little over a week. On May 21, Cyclone Amphan battered the country’s eastern coast including Kolkata, and neighbouring Bangladesh, killing more than 100 people and leaving a trail of destruction. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Wuhan tests nearly 10 million people, finds only 300 infections Jun 03, 2020 0 531 Singapore ends two-month virus lockdown, though some curbs remain Jun 03, 2020 0 403 Suicide bomber targets mosque in Kabul’s Green Zone Jun 03, 2020 0 26 Philippines suspends termination of defence pact with US DPA Manila The Philippines has suspended for at least six months the termination of a 21-year-old defence pact with the United States, which would have taken effect in August. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said .. 21 dead in rain-triggered landslides in India’s Assam state New Delhi At least 21 people were killed in a series of landslides triggered by incessant rains in India’s north-eastern state of Assam on Tuesday, officials said. Several villagers were injured in the landslides that .. Bangladesh reports first Covid-19 death in crowded Rohingya camp DPA Dhaka Bangladesh has reported the first Covid-19 death in a huge refugee settlement located in the country’s south-eastern district of Cox’s Bazar, officials said on Tuesday. The 71-year old Rohingya man died early .. Japan imperial palace reopens after coronavirus restrictions Tokyo Japan has reopened the Imperial Palace to the public on Tuesday following a two-month closure due to the coronavirus crisis as the country is cautiously lifting restrictions. The Imperial Household Agency has .. Australia probes US police assault on its journalists AFP Sydney Australia is investigating a US police attack on two Australian television journalists outside the White House, the foreign minister said Tuesday, expressing “strong concerns” about the assault caught .. Taliban rejects UN report alleging continued ties to Al Qaeda Kabul The Taliban militant group on Tuesday strongly rejected a UN report that alleged relations between the group and the Al Qaeda terrorist organization, calling them “baseless” and “bigoted.” “The Islamic Emirate ..