The November 1948 edition of The Free Press Journal
The November 1948 edition of The Free Press Journal

Editor's Note: You can download the PDF of the The Free Press Journal from Nov 24, 1948.

FPJ-24-NOV-1948_compressed.pdf
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It’s a case of talking of the storm before the calm settles in. Cyclone Nisarga is upon us and Mumbaikars have braced themselves for the worst-case scenario.

Mumbai isn’t new to heavy rains or flash floods, but a cyclone-like situation is novel. Given that the last time, Maximum City witnessed a cyclone, it was a century ago.

However, one incident in 1948 during the month of November put Mumbai to a standstill. Torrential rains ended up taking many lives.

Cyclone Nisarga: When 1948 November storm left 38 dead and 47 missing in Bombay
AFP

Mumbai (then Bombay) was hit by a storm that claimed 38 lives. Free Press Journal did a detailed report also highlighted that there was no electricity for 37 hours. The report said 47 people were missing in the aftermath of the storm.

Reports also said that wind speeds were over 100 kilometres per hour and the heavy rains separated Bombay from the rest of the country.

Mumbai resident Rama Rajagopalakrishna, who was six years old at the time, recalls how her father would wade through the flooded parts of Parel where he worked as a mill manager. "There was also a famine at the time," she recalls.

Nearly 76 years later, the Mumbai Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144 in the city from midnight to Thursday afternoon in the wake of impending Cyclone Nisarga.

"Prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), in view of cyclonic conditions in the city to ensure that there is no danger to human life, health or safety," Office of Mumbai Police commissioner said in a statement. The police also banned citizens from visiting places like beaches, parks and promenades along the coastline.

Cyclone Nisarga: When 1948 November storm left 38 dead and 47 missing in Bombay

Mumbai Police on Wednesday imposed Section 144 in the city from midnight to Thursday afternoon in the wake of impending Cyclone Nisarga.

"Prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), in view of cyclonic conditions in the city to ensure that there is no danger to human life, health or safety," Office of Mumbai Police commissioner said in a statement. The police also banned citizens from visiting places like beaches, parks and promenades along the coastline.

Even the BMC advised people to stay home in wake of Cyclone Nisarga. "While it’s best that you stay at home during heavy rainfall; but if, for some unavoidable reason, you need to drive your car, please ensure that you carry hammer or objects that can help you break glass in case your car doors get jammed," BMC said in a statement.

With an expected increase in wind conditions up to 120 kilometres, cyclone Nisarga is likely to make landfall on the north coast of Maharashtra later today. As per the India Meteorological Department (IMD), cyclone Nisarga is expected to affect the city today between 11 am to 7 pm.

"Wind conditions will further increase up to 100-110 gusting to 120 kmph as conditions are favourable for intensification. The higher sea surface temperature and low vertical wind shear favoured the intensification of severe cyclonic circulation," said IMD in a series of tweets.

Explaining the nature of wind speed, IMD further tweeted, "Eye diameter is about 65 km as observed through Radar. Thus the diameter has decreased during past 01 hours indicating intensification of the system. Hence wind speed has increased from 85-95 kmph to 90-100 kmph gusting to 110 kmph."

Download the PDF by clicking here.

FPJ-24-NOV-1948_compressed.pdf
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