India’s financial center avoided the worst of Cyclone Nisarga, which made landfall at around 1 p.m. local time (3:30 a.m. ET), according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). The cyclone, which formed in the Arabian sea on Tuesday morning, hit Alibag town, south of Mumbai.
At least one person was killed during the storm. A 58-year-old man died after an electrical transformer fell on him in Raigad, a district in India’s Maharashtra state, according to a senior National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) official.
“So far this is the only death reported in the state and we have begun [a] restorations operation this evening as soon as the cyclone passed,” NDRF Commandant in Maharashtra Anupam Srivastava told CNN.
The region saw wind speeds up to 130 kph (81 mph), Srivastava told CNN earlier, but added that damage in Maharashtra was minimal.
“Apart from tin roofs flying off and treefall there isn’t much damage in the state and we expect to clear the roads by tomorrow,” he said.
The official earlier said that up to 40 trees were uprooted, some of which fell on the Mumbai Pune expressway.
A 40 km (24 mile) stretch from Raigad to Alibag received the brunt of the damage — where winds stripped buildings of tin roofs and a small number of trees fell on houses.
“The tail of the cyclone is currently passing over Alibag after which wind speeds will drop, once it is cleared our teams will go in to assess the extent of damage and begin restoration,” Srivastava said.
Ahead of landfall, the cyclone strengthened to the equivalent of just below a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane, or a Severe Cyclonic Storm in the West Pacific.
The states of Maharashtra and Gujarat, and the Union Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu along India’s west coast were expected to be the worst affected by the storm. Officials were concerned that intense rainfall could lead to deadly flooding in and around Mumbai and surrounding areas of Maharashtra and Gujarat.
But the cyclone appears to have caused only minimal damage in Gujarat, according to the state’s Relief Commissioner Harshad Patel.
“There was no damage to property or loss of life [in Gujarat], only 152 electrical poles fell which caused some problems in electricity but they are being restored,” Patel told CNN.
Over 65,000 people who were evacuated from the coastal regions…