Cyclone Nisarga: 3 families living along Alibag coastline had no clue about impact or evacuation
On early Wednesday morning, Bhim Rao, 25, and his wife looked surprised and confused when they heard that nearby villages were being evacuated due to an approaching cyclone. The couple live in Alibaug, less than 200 metres from the shoreline.
Rao said he had heard about the cyclone on television but had no clue that it was heading straight for Alibaug. “There have been no announcements, warnings or information shared with us so far,” he said.
Same was the case with Rao’s neighbours Keshav Meyar, 28, and his six other family members as well as Brijesh Sharma, 46, and his wife. When HT approached them, all three families were busy discussing the impact of Covid-19 on early Wednesday morning blissfully unaware of cyclone Nisarga’s landfall near Alibaug.
The three families live at a secluded section of Varsoli Beach in Alibaug which is less than 2 kilometres from the Raigad district administration office.
“We have no clue where we have to go now in order to ensure we are safe from the cyclone,” said Sharma.
Meanwhile, when the district administration was asked about the three families at Varsoli Beach, Sagar Pathak - an official from the Raigad district collector’s office - issued a slew of instructions to his junior officers.
“We will ensure the three families are evacuated,” he said adding, “Numerous warnings to evacuate have been issued to all residents living close to the coast but some are not following directions. We are following up on every case.”
Till Wednesday morning, a total of 4,407 people had been relocated from the coastal resort town of Alibaug — around 9 nautical miles or 90 kilometres by road from Mumbai — where cyclone Nisarga is expected to make landfall just south of it between 1 pm and 4 pm.
Nisarga, classified as a severe cyclonic storm, is expected to make landfall at a wind speed of 100-110 kmph, with a gusting speed of 120 kmph. The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) has also warned of storm surges that may result in inundation in low-lying areas along the coastline.