Cyclone Phyan shuts down Mumbai

"All schools and offices have been advised to close down for the day in view of the inclement weather that is likely to worsen," BMC Additional Commissioner A Maheshkar told reporters.

While the schools have been asked to shut down at 1 pm, offices have been advised to close by 2 pm, Maheshkar said after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Johny Joseph at Mantralaya.

She said the BMC was arranging for buses at Chhatrapati Shivaji and Churchgate terminus to ferry people back home.

All 24 control rooms of the BMC have been activated, she said, adding many trees maybe uprooted as the city and its adjoining areas were expected to experience high-speed winds reaching upto 90 KM per hour.

The machinery has been geared up to promptly clear the streets of the trees and people cautioned against taking shelter under them. Asked if the advisory for closure of educational institutions and offices would be in force even tomorrow, she said no such decision had been taken as yet.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan informed the Legislative Assembly that schools and colleges in Mumbai and neighbouring Thane have been asked to close down this afternoon.

BMC Joint Commissioner S S Shinde said people in low lying areas have been advised to be on alert and evacuation efforts would be launched if situation so warranted.
Schools along the coastline have been asked to accommodate slum dwellers living there and people cautioned against venturing into the sea.

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