Cyclone Nisarga: ₹200 crore worth property damaged in 13 tehsils, says Raigad collector
The district administration has carried out the final assessment of damages due to Cyclone Nisarga that left a trail of destruction on June 3, across Raigad district. Approximately, ₹200 crore worth government properties such as schools, hospitals, offices, anganwadis, electricity infrastructure etc. have been damaged, the district collector said.
“We calculated a tally of 1.4 lakh houses were damaged. Additionally, 1.6 lakh tree-fall incidents were recorded, and damage to agricultural land and perennial crops across more than 20,000 hectares has been recorded, as per submissions by the district agriculture officers,” said Nidhi Choudhari, collector and district magistrate, Raigad.
Nisarga, classified as severe cyclonic storm, made landfall at Diveagar, located between Shrivardhan and Murud between 12.15pm and 12.30pm on June 3 as it passed over Raigad district followed by heavy to very heavy rain over the next 10 days including the onset of the southwest monsoon. The wind speed during and after landfall had touched a maximum of 120 kmph, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had said, leading to rooftops of several structures blown away, tree fall and power line damages, and a communication blackout across 80% of Raigad. Partial damages to structures were calculated to be approximately 5.2 lakh, including government and private property, officials said.
Destruction of electricity infrastructure has been immense, said Choudhari. “We have calculated approximate losses of ₹40 crore. Over 16,000 electric poles, high voltage lines, sub-stations, feeders, transformers etc. have been damaged,” she said.
The cyclone affected 13 of 15 tehsils (Alibag, Murud, Tala, Srivardhan, Mangaon, Mhasala, Pen, Karjat, Mahad, Uran, Panvel, Khalapur, and Roha) with a total of 1,967 villages did not have power from June 3 to June 12, the collector said.
“So far we have restored power for 950 of the 1,967 villages. As far as electricity consumers are concerned, power has been restored for over 50% across 13 of the 15 affected tehsils. Electricity has been restored for all tehsil headquarters and communication lines have been reinstated. However, work is still underway at two of the worst affected tehsils Murud and Shrivardhan. While it will take time to restore electricity for villages, we expect city areas will hopefully have power again by the end of this week,” said Choudhari.
HT had reported on June 8 how residents of semi-urban and rural areas in affected talukas were facing a drinking water crisis due to damages to pipelines and power outage (failure in pumping water from bore wells). “We have managed to restore the supply of water across the majority of affected areas by providing generators even across remote villages under the regional water supply schemes. Remaining areas are being provided tankers to fill the village wells,” said Choudhari.
Apart from ₹100 crore immediate relief sanctioned for the district, the state government on June 10 had announced damages to homes of cyclone-hit families would be given ₹1.5 lakh, ₹15,000 for partial damages to homes, ₹50,000 per hectare of damaged agricultural land, and ₹10,000 for damages to household materials.
Research group to assess how mangroves protected Raigad during cyclone
The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will commence a study to assess how mangroves were affected during the severe cyclone Nisarga, and how much area the salt-tolerant trees managed to protect during the cyclone using satellite images. “We will independently carry out a study to understand the comparison of areas where mangroves were present and how they impacted property damage versus areas where they weren’t. Also, the scale of damages to the trees due to high wind speed. The study will be verified with on-site field visits subsequently,” said Deepak Apte, director, BNHS.