(Bloomberg) -- The second cyclone to hit India in two weeks is set to cause widespread damage in the western coastal districts and disrupt business in the financial capital Mumbai, the epicenter of the country’s worsening coronavirus outbreak.
The cyclone, with a wind speed between 105 kilometers (65 miles) to 115 kilometers per hour, is expected to cross the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat on Wednesday, according to the India Meteorological Department. The wind speed, which may surge to as high as 125 kilometers an hour, will be intense enough to damage plantations, trees, mud houses and communication and electricity poles. Some parts of the affected areas will witness heavy rainfall, the weather office said.
This is the second storm to hit India in almost two weeks during a time of slumping economic activity across the country due to a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak in Mumbai has snowballed, with the city now accounting for more than a fifth of India’s over 5,600 deaths and more than 198,000 infections. The storm follows Amphan, the worst cyclone over the Bay of Bengal since 1999, which displaced millions and killed more than 100 people across India and Bangladesh late in May.
Rainfall will intensify from June 2, the weather office said. Some parts of the central and coastal areas of Maharashtra, including Mumbai and Thane, will receive heavy to “extremely heavy” rainfall on Wednesday. Sea conditions are expected to be rough, with fishermen warned to stay on land until Thursday, the weather office said.
Mumbai is prone to heavy rains and floods, but cyclonic storms are rare in the mega city of about 18 million people. Last year, the heaviest downpour since 2005 inundated the city, delaying trains and planes and spurring the city administration to declare a holiday.
Millions in India have been pushed into poverty after losing their livelihoods because of the world’s most stringent stay-at-home rules. Asia’s third-biggest economy is heading for its first full-year GDP drop in more than four decades.
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