Rains batter Maharashtra, international look-out for missing fisherfolk
(7 months ago)
Mumbai, Dec 5 : Rains triggered by cyclone Ockhi continued to lash the entire coastal Maharashtra, including Mumbai, on Tuesday even as Indian Coast Guard issued an international look-out notice for fisherfolk feared missing in the stormy Arabian Sea.
The rains, which started on Monday evening, continued almost unabated in the coastal Konkan districts of Palghar, Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri, and Sindhudurg.
The stormy seas triggered huge tidal waves, which lashed the coastal areas of the country's commercial capital and other seaside towns and villages in these districts, waterlogging them in the process.
As all schools remained shut in the coastal districts on Tuesday, Mumbai recorded around 70 mm rainfall, the highest for December month in over a decade, with temperatures falling to a nippy 20 degrees Celsius.
Besides the coastal areas, intermittent showers were recorded in the interiors like Dhule, Nandurbar, Nashik, Jalgaon, Pune, and Ahmednagar.
However, all public transport including state transport buses and suburban and long-distance trains, and flights were running normally.
With cyclone Ockhi moved towards south Gujarat for a landfall expected on Tuesday night or early Wednesday, the Indian Coast Guard sought the help of international merchant ships to report any fisherman found in the Arabian Sea off the battered west coast.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre issued the notice as the ICG deployed 22 ships, five aircraft and helicopters and has rescued 367 fisherfolk so far.
A few fishing boats are still reported missing, while fishermen's equipment and nets have been washed away or damged in Mumbai, Raigad, apart from fish godowns in Palghar.
The BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation, state Disaster Management Unit and other agencies continued to be on high alert to tackle any situation.
Over half a million followers of Bhim Rao Ambedkar, who reached Mumbai from all over India for his 'Mahaparinirvan Divas' to mark the day when he was cremated at Chaityabhoomi in Dadar, were inconvenienced due to waterlogging in Shivaji Park and surrounding areas.
The BMC had housed them in 70-plus civic body schools due to inclement weather.
The India Meteorological Department has forecast rains with thundershowers in and around Mumbai, accompanied by squalls reaching 50-60 kmph and touching 70 kmph in the coastal areas over the next 24 hours, even as the minimum temperatures in Mumbai dropped to 20 degrees.
Danger signals LC-III have been hoisted over all ports between Goa to Dahanu (north Maharashtra), with rough to very rough conditions in the sea.
On Tuesday, the Arabian Sea recorded a high tide of 5.04 metres, which was likely to be 5.05 metres on Wednesday, gradually receding to 4.17 metres by Thursday, said a BMC official.
The Western Railway said all departments concerned are monitoring water levels on rail tracks, while Railway Protection Force and commercial staff will keep an eye on crowd movement, especially in alert areas of Palghar.
Technical teams are monitoring critical railway assets and essentials like electricity supply, with back-up diesel generators, signal and telecom, breakdown equipment, accident relief trains or accident relief medical vans on standby for any eventuality.
All BMC disaster units, Mumbai Police, fire brigade, Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Home Guards, and other agencies are in full preparedness for any eventuality arising out of the cyclone which skirted Maharashtra but is expected to make the landfall near the diamond and textile city of Surat in Gujarat.