At least 100,000 people including coronavirus patients were being moved to safety as India’s west coast braced for a cyclone – the first such storm to threaten Mumbai in more than 70 years.
Authorities in India’s financial capital, which is struggling to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, evacuated nearly 150 virus patients from a recently built field hospital to a facility with a concrete roof as a precautionary measure, officials said on Tuesday.
The chief minister of Maharashtra state, Uddhav Thackeray, of which Mumbai is the capital, said people living in flimsy homes near the shore were being moved to safer places before Cyclone Nisarga made its scheduled landfall later on Wednesday.
“Slum-dwellers … in low-lying areas have been instructed to evacuate,” Thackeray’s office wrote on social media.
The temporary Covid-19 hospital was erected in a few weeks and is said to be able to withstand speeds of up to 80kph but not the expected wind speeds of over 100kph.