Incessant rains lash Goa

Posted on 2008-08-11
PANAJI - Rising water levels of the Volvonti river near Sanquelim and Anjunem dam causing almost flood-like situation forced the people to shift to safer and higher areas with the authorities gearing up to face the situation as heavy rains accompanied by gusty winds continued to lash the state for fifth day in succession.
The Chief Secretary, Mr J P Singh said that scores of people have been shifted to safer places in view of the grim situation that has evolved due to continuous downpour and that authorities have made elaborate arrangements to deal with the situation as the cyclonic condition was likely to continue for some more time. He also said the work on clearing the debris at Anmod to clear the national highway-4A was going on but hampered due to incessant rainfall.
Mr Swapnil Naik, the additional collector-I of North Goa, informed that 70 cases of tree uprooting were reported to his office. He also said that at least 12 houses were damaged due to falling of trees (four in Bardez taluka alone) besides many part of the district remaining in dark due to disruption of power supply caused by falling trees, etc.
He said the water level of the rivers was rising specially during the high tide and such a situation was seen during the Sunday afternoon forcing authorities to order evacuation of people in Keri village of Sattari taluka and low-lying areas of Sanquelim town.
Though the authorities had made arrangements to relocate the affected people in government buildings, including the municipal hall, they preferred to shift to the houses of their relations. The people in Bicholim town have also been put on alert, said Mr Naik adding that the situation might become grimmer during the high tide again that was likely to take place around 10 tonight.
Due to rising turbidity the supply of potable water to the people has also been affected in many parts of the state. A few motors and pumps of the Opa water works have been shut down due to they being clogged affecting supply of water to Ponda and Tiswadi talukas.
There were several power supply interruptions in the Porvorim and Panaji areas since last night while Porvorim residents complained of no water supply and no power supply till morning since midnight
The incessant rains have caused widespread damage to property, uprooting trees, damaging power lines, water entering into a number of houses and paralysing life all over. The meteorological department observatory at Altinho recorded almost eight inches of rain over the past 24 hours.
The Goans are unlikely to get any respite from the rains and the turbulent weather with meteorological department forecasting heavy rains and thunder shower would continue to lash the state over the next 24 hours, with winds reaching speed of almost 70 km per hour.
Fishermen have been warned not to venture into the seas as the squally weather would continue to prevail over the next few days. The observatory recorded 191.7 mm (nearly eight inches) rainfall during the last 24 hours taking the total rainfall count to 1,805 mm (a little over 72 inches).
The rains also caused flood like situation in Bicholim and Sattari talukas with water entering the low lying shopping area at Sanquelim and the water in Anjunem dam was nearing danger mark and was just about two metres short of overflowing level forcing the authorities to open the flood gates to release the water.
With almost all the rivers nearing the danger marks the authorities have made elaborate arrangements to shift the people to safety. There were also reports of houses being damaged due to falling of trees but no loss of life was reported from any part of the state till late in the evening. The police and fire services personnel have been put on high alert so also all the disaster management personnel.
The uprooting of trees have damaged power lines causing blackout in a number of places since the last evening and many areas still continue to be in darkness though power department employees were working hard to restore the power supply.