More thatn 5,000 people living along the sea coast in Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri and Palghar districts have been moved to safe places as Cyclone Tauktae barrels its way up Arabian Sea.
Raigad district collector Nidhi Chaudhari said, “We have moved 2,500 people from the shore to safer places. In June 2020, Cyclone Nisarga hit us. The wind speed was nearly 140 kmph and this one will be maximum 90 kmph, we are told. Yet we are careful. Our district produces 645 metric tonnes of medical oxygen and we have dispatched supplies for the next 48 hours to Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg too. The cyclone is expected to hit Raigad at 5 am on Monday.”
Unlike last year, teams of National Disaster Management Force have not been deployed in Raigad. In Sindhudurg district, collector K Manjulekshmi said roofs of nearly 450 houses were damaged due to rain over the weekend, but there was no loss of life. Power supply to many areas has been affected and the work to restore it is on, said the collector.
Manjulekshmi said Covid-19 facilities had not been affected due to power cut, as they were equipped with diesel generation sets. Several trees have fallen and roads were being cleared, she added.
In Ratnagiri, nearly 4,000 people were moved to safer locations. Collector Laxminarayan Mishra said, “Two persons have sustained injuries and trees have fallen at many places. We have switched off electricity to many places as a matter of precaution, except hospitals. Nearly 100 houses have been damaged and we are in the process of compiling damage caused.”
Thane collector Rajesh Narvekar said, “Only Uttan in my district is along the coast. We have identified six locations where people can be moved, in case. Most houses are pucca houses. We have an oxygen plant in Murbad and I have asked the tehsildar there to ensure smooth supply to Nashik, Nandurbar, Dhule and Aurangabad.”
In Palghar, district collector Manik Gursal said, “All our boats have returned. We have identified low-lying spots, and 2,893 people may be moved. All village officers have been told to be in the field. We have procured enough oxygen for three days. Ten patients have been moved from Dahanu to Vedant hospital near Talasari.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray held a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah. Coast Guard inspector general of western region, Anand Badola, said, “This time, we have issued to warnings to fishermen over the past four days and, on Sunday morning, I received a report that all boats have returned to the harbour. Three of our ships are in sea for attending to distress calls.”
The Konkan Railway cancelled a couple of trains due to the cyclone. Services were also affected due to tree fall incident on a train near Margao.