Cyclone Kyarr batters Goa, disrupts normal life
Heavy rains accompanied by squally winds have battered Goa and much of the west coast since Thursday as Cyclone Kyarr moves along the west coast.
More than 200 fishing boats and trawlers from various parts of the west coast including Maharashtra and Gujarat have sought refuge in Goa while one trawler capsized necessitating the rescue of four crew while a fifth person is still missing.
The weather along the coast has led to extremely rough sea conditions and tourists have been asked to avoid visiting the beaches, much less venturing into the sea.
According to the met department, on Friday morning at 10:30 am, the centre of cyclone Kyarr was located at a distance of approximately 239.4 km west off Panaji while earlier in the morning at 7:30 am it was located around 235 km.
Ferry services connecting Goa’s riverine islands have been suspended due to the high water levels leaving around 4,000 people cut off from the rest of the state until the situation improves.
“Three routes of ferry services connecting Ribandar-Chorao and Old Goa to Divar have been suspended besides another route from Camurlim to Agarwada have also been suspended,” an official of the River Navigation Department said.
Meanwhile, an unmanned tanker Nu Shi Nalini, a chemical tanker believed to be loaded with 3,000 tons of naphtha that broke loose from the inner anchorage of Mormugao Port continues to remain precariously bobbing over the choppy seas. Port authorities have been able to arrest its drift speed, but efforts to tow it back to port have remained unsuccessful owing to the high waves.
“Due to the rough weather the boat is drifting towards the shore. It is currently at 6 to 7 km from the shore. The revenue secretary, Captain of Ports, Director General of Shipping are monitoring the situation. By helicopter two person are going to try land on board the ship and tow it to a safe area. The anchor is dragging and the boat speed has slowed down. The fear is that if the anchor breaks it could drift faster towards shore,” Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said speaking late last night.
The deep depression over east central Arabian Sea moved northwards with a speed of 5 Kmph during the past six hrs, intensified into a Cyclonic Storm ‘KYARR’ about 240 km west-southwest of Ratnagiri (Maharashtra), 380 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra).
It is very likely to intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm during the next 24 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 12 hours.
According to the meteorological department forecast, the weather is expected to improve from Sunday onwards.