COVID-19 -hit Mumbai largely unscathed by Cyclone Nisarga Jun 04, 2020 0 1312 12345 AFPMumbaiCoronavirus-hit Mumbai appeared to escape the worst of Cyclone Nisarga on Wednesday as the first severe storm to threaten India’s financial capital in more than 70 years left it largely unscathed after ripping roofs off buildings in nearby coastal towns.Mumbai and its surrounds are usually sheltered from cyclones -- the last deadly storm to hit the city was in 1948 -- but authorities evacuated at least 100,000 people, including coronavirus patients, from flood-prone areas in the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat.The storm made landfall near the coastal town of Alibag, around 100 kilometres south of Mumbai, on Wednesday afternoon, meteorologists said.It then crossed Maharashtra’s coast, with its path veering to the east of Mumbai and gradually weakened by Wednesday evening, they added.The cyclone brought heavy rainfall -- with winds of 100-110 kilometres per hour and gusts of up to 120 kph.Mumbai experienced downpours throughout the afternoon, with strong winds toppling trees in some cases. City authorities said there were no reports of injuries or deaths, though the rains caused compound walls to collapse in some neighbourhoods.The beach town of Alibag fared worse, with the cyclone tearing roofs off homes and overturning mobile food stalls.A 45-year-old professor who evacuated from his house near the sea told AFP he could see corrugated roofing flying through the air as Nisarga’s powerful winds struck.“The intensity is very strong and nothing like weather events we’ve seen before,” said Milind Dhodre, who lives in Alibag with his wife and son.The coastal town is a favoured haunt of Bollywood stars and industrialists, who own holiday homes there.The port city of Pen also suffered damage, with one video showing a ripped off metal roof smashing into nearby buildings.In Mumbai, police announced fresh restrictions on the city of 18 million people -- which was just beginning to emerge from a months-long lockdown -- banning gatherings of four people or more until Thursday afternoon.India’s worst-hit city, Mumbai is home to a fifth of the country’s more than 200,000 coronavirus cases.The storm evacuees included nearly 150 coronavirus patients from a recently built field hospital in Mumbai, underscoring the difficulties facing the city ahead of the monsoon season as it struggles to contain the pandemic.“Refrain from venturing out to coast-beaches, promenade, parks and other similar places along the coastline,” the police tweeted early Wednesday.“Do not leave your house for your own safety and well-being,” Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tweeted late Tuesday, warning of possible disruptions to the power supply due to heavy rainfall.Warnings of storm surges up to two metres high remained in effect on Wednesday, with slum-dwellers in low-lying areas of Mumbai instructed to move to higher ground.Even as the city’s residents breathed a sigh of relief, forecasters warned the storm could still carry a sting in its tail until it eased. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Roadside bomb kills 9 civilians in southern Afghanistan: Officials Jun 04, 2020 0 484 South China sea issues pushed Philippine U-turn on US troop pact Jun 04, 2020 0 410 Virus on rise again in Iran with over 3,000 cases for third day Jun 04, 2020 0 426 Eight dead, 74 injured after explosion in Indian chemical factory New Delhi At least eight workers were killed and 74 more were injured after an explosion sparked a major fire at a chemical factory in western India on Wednesday, officials said. Around 5,000 people in the villages near the .. Israel breached border 1,000 times so far this year, says Lebanese premier DPA Beirut Lebananese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said on Wednesday that Israel had breached his country’s land, sea and air space more than 1,000 times since the beginning of this year. Lebanon does not have ..