As Cyclone Nisarga approached the Maharashtra coast on Wednesday, heavy rain, winds and high waves were seen at Alibaug near Mumbai, where landfall was expected.
At least 100,000 people, including some coronavirus patients, have been moved to safer locations ahead of the first such storm to threaten Mumbai in more than 70 years.
Alibaug, a popular getaway that features opulent bungalows besides forts and temples, started preparing for the severe storm when the cyclone changed direction last evening from Harihareshwar in Raigad district. The seaside town around 150 km from Mumbai has evacuated residents from the coasts.
Cyclone Nisarga, according to weather forecasts, would hit the Maharashtra and Gujarat coasts with wind speeds of 110 kmph. It is likely to cause heavy rainfall and six feet high waves, according to warnings.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), four areas in Maharashtra are likely to face the most severe impact of Nisarga -- Thane, Palgad, Raigarh and Mumbai.
In the morning, Cyclone Nisarga headed to the north Maharashtra coast with a speed of 11 kmph.
IMD has predicted rain at most places with isolated heavy falls very likely over coastal Karnataka and Marathawada in the next few hours. Extremely heavy rain is also likely in Mumbai and Thane and low-lying areas are likely to be flooded.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has warned people against stepping out for two days.
This will be the second cyclone to strike India in two weeks and the first to hit Mumbai in over 100 years.
Cyclone Nisarga comes days after Cyclone Amphan killed nearly 100 people in Bengal last month and caused large-scale destruction in towns, leaving millions without electricity and phone connections.