With cyclone Nisarga' expected to hit coastal Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday said it was likely to be more severe than cyclonic storms in the past, and asked people to stay alert.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him over phone about the impending storm and assured all necessary help from the Centre a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah gave a similar assurance, he said in a televised address.
All efforts were being made to ensure there was no loss of life due to the cyclone that was likely to make landfall near Alibaug on Wednesday, he said, adding that the Army, Navy and Air Force were on stand-by.
Thackeray also elaborated on 'dos and don'ts' in the situation.
"The cyclone could be more severe than the other storms....Tomorrow and the day after are crucial in coastal areas," he said.
"Activities which had resumed (as part of easing of lockdown to contain coronavirus) will be kept shut there for the next two days in view of the cyclone....it is in our interest that people remain alert and inside their homes," the chief minister said.
15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force and four teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed in different coastal areas while five teams have been kept on standby, he said.
"All the fishermen have been contacted. In Palghar, some fishermen were not reachable till afternoon, but were contacted later. We will bring them back in time. Nobody should venture into the sea for the next two days," he added.
Power supply may be disconnected if it rains heavily, he said, and warned people against using electrical appliances when not needed.
Important documents in home should be kept safe and battery-operated devices like mobile phones should be charged, he said.
"Don't believe rumours and don't spread rumours. Follow the instructions aired by Doordarshan and Akashvaani," he said.
People should cooperate with the administration and shift to safer places wherever necessary, Thackeray said, and informed that COVID-19 patients admitted at the field hospital in Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex have been shifted to safer places.
He also asked people not to take cover under makeshift or dilapidated structures.
Safe distance should be maintained from gas cylinder or pipeline if there is a leakage, he said.
"We are already fighting the novel coronavirus. Now nature too is testing us. But we will face the situation with full strength and come out of it safely," the chief minister assured.