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Telecom companies brace for Cyclone Nisarga in Maharashtra and Gujarat

The Department of Telecommunications held a meeting with telecom operators on preparedness for Cyclone Nisarga, the Tower & Infrastructure Providers Association said in a statement. The cyclone is likely to hit coastal parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra, including Mumbai, on June 3. If Cyclone Amphan was any indication, both wired and wireless networks might be hit badly, especially in Mumbai, which hasn’t seen a cyclone in over a century.

Both wireless and wired connections could suffer greatly from falling trees and flooding, as had happened with Amphan. Depending on the severity of the cyclone, it may take time to get to towers to get wireless connectivity back online. “We have requested the Chief Secretaries and DoT for unrestricted movement for man and material for inter-state movement, arrangement of issuing E-passes and availability of diesel supply,” TAIPA Director Generla TR Dua said.

A storm surge — as high as two metres above the astronomical tide — will inundate the low-lying coastal areas of Mumbai, Thane and Raigad districts during the landfall. It is expected that the storm may cause major damage to thatched houses, huts, power and communication lines and coastal crops,” TAIPA said.

The brewing cyclone comes as Maharashtra and Gujarat, particularly Mumbai, deal with the COVID-19 pandemic at an extraordinary scale compared to the rest of the country. Both states have active cases in the thousands, with Maharashtra having 37,543 cases as of June 2, and Gujarat having 5,374 active cases.

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