Cyclone Nisarga: Three days on, rescuers finally reach landfall site ShrivardhanUpdated: Jun 07, 2020 00:51 IST
Three days after Cyclone Nisarga made landfall, teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and local administration on Saturday finally reached Shrivardhan taluka in Raigad district, which was the most affected along the Maharashtra coast.
On Wednesday, around 12.15pm, Nisarga made landfall at Diveagar located, 21 km north of Shrivardhan and left a trail of destruction within a 100-kilometre (km) radius north and south of the landfall site. Raigad’s district collector Nidhi Choudhari said rescue teams from other parts of the district had been directed to Shrivardhan. “The scale of damage in this taluka is very high. We have still not received reports from all affected villages yet. We are sending teams from rest of the district to Shrivardhan. Three NDRF teams from Murud and Alibag are on their way as well. A 60-member damage assessment team from Uran, Karjat, and Panvel tehsils have additionally been deployed for Shrivardhan,” said Choudhari.
A few Shrivardhan residents managed to inform the district headquarters in Alibag on Saturday morning of the scale of damages. “On Friday late evening, NDRF teams cleared trees and electric poles from the Mhasala Bypass road that connects Shrivardhan taluka to other northern talukas in the district. That is how we reached Alibag on Saturday,” said Siddhesh Raut, resident of Arati village in Shrivardhan. “Large beach-facing hotels have lost their rooftops and windows were blown away. It will take us months to recuperate.”
“Relief and rehabilitation work are underway after all roads leading to Shrivardhan were cleared of fallen trees,” said Mahesh Kumar, inspector, NDRF.
Kedar Wani, resident of Shrivardhan city said electric poles, trees and structures across Shrivardhan city, Harihareshwar, Bagmandla, Kolmandale, Puradure, Dighi, Kondvil, Diveagar, Nanavali, Shekhadi, Arati, Borli, and Bharadkhol suffered maximum damage. “We have been without electricity and no communication for 72 hours since the cyclone. Almost 97% of major structures that had tin roofs have either been damaged or do not have a roof at all. Only those with strong foundation and concrete rooftops have survived. However, some of those have also had trees falling on them,” said Wani.
So far, two deaths have been reported in Raigad district and two in Pune. Of these, one was of a 15-year-old boy who fell under a collapsed wall in Nigdi village. “There may be more cases in remote villages, but since there is no connectivity, critical information is not being transmitted to local authorities,” said Wani.
Sarfaraz Darzi, a resident of Borli village, said, “Owing to maximum houses having no rooftops and sporadic showers at least three to four times a day, furniture and all other household items are being destroyed. Some houses were flooded post the cyclone. On top of this there is no electricity.”
Preliminary assessment of damages from the cyclone across eight of 15 tehsils in the district showed over 5 lakh structures were partially damaged, 1.10 lakh tree fall incidents, over 2,200 power lines affected and close to 500 network towers destroyed. Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday announced an immediate relief package of Rs 100 crore for the district.
“Our property damage assessment work will be completed by Monday, and the relief amount declared by the CM will be used on priority towards property damages,” said Choudhari.
Meanwhile, for the third day in a row, several areas did not have electricity. “We have been informed by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited that all efforts are underway to restore power across the district within four to five days while some areas have begun receiving mobile network. It is expected to be completely restored by next week,” said Manoj Sanap, district information officer.