Witnessing its worst floods in decades, Goa on Friday, 23 July, was hit by intense rainfall that immersed roads, bridges, damaged homes and property worth crores, and led to the evacuation of more than 400 people. Meanwhile, a landslide and an overflowing river derailed two trains.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) had initially issued a red alert for extremely heavy rainfall on Thursday, 22 July, and an orange alert for Friday, 23 July. However, by Friday afternoon, IMD upgraded the alert to red.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said on Friday said, “There has been a massive flood in Goa. It is like never before. There has been large-scale damage to people’s homes and agricultural land,” Indian Express reported.
Later on Friday evening, Sawant wrote in a tweet that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “called to inquire about the safety and well-being of the people in the prevailing flooding situation in Goa due to incessant rains”.
Rivers across the state were reportedly flooded, including the Mhadei (Mandovi), Chapora, Dudhsagar, Khandepar, and Valvanti. Sattari and Bicholim in North Goa and Dharbandora in South Goa were the worst-hit.
Sawant was further quoted as saying, “Many people had to be evacuated because of the flooding. We have taken the help of the Navy and the port authorities too. We had to rescue some people using rescue boats. Our teams have been working since last night to move people to safety. The (400) evacuated people from the five talukas have been housed in government primary schools and we have made arrangements for their accommodation and food,” Indian Express reported.
He added that such flooding was not seen even in 1982, the last major flood in the state.
Goa Health Minister and Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane, also visited the inundated parts of Sattari.
He said in a post on social media, “Directions have been issued to the Collectors to have the District Management team stationed at Sattari and Usgaon. Water has entered their houses causing a lot of damage.”
He added that directions to repair damaged bridges have also been given.
Around 6 am on Friday morning, a passenger train carrying 345 passengers from Mangaluru Junction to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), got derailed between Dudhsagar and Sonaulim in South Goa after heavy rain and the overflowing of the Vashishti river between Chiplun and Kamathe in Maharashtra.
As per a statement by the South Western Railway (SWR), no injury or death due to the incident was reported.
The derailment led to the cancellation of 15 trains and diversion of 16 others.
Meanwhile, another landslide in the morning led the Hazrat Nizamuddin- Vasco da Gama Express to stop in its tracks between Caranzol and Dudhsagar. The train was carrying 887 passengers.
On Friday evening, the SWR said that efforts were on to clear the railway tracks to resume the train services hit by the landslide.
The SWR said in a statement, “Two Hitachi machines, about 50 labourers, are working hard at the spot of land slide to clear the mud, slush and boulders. Due to very heavy rainfall, there is further continuous accumulation of slush, boulders, mud from the area beside the track, making the clearing of debris a challenging task."
Reduction in Rainfall Likely
The IMD said in a tweet on Saturday, 24 July, "Further reduction in rainfall intensity is very likely along the west coast including Konkan and Goa and adjoining interior Maharashtra during the next 24 hours."
Goa Deputy Chief Minister and Agriculture Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar was reported as saying that 832 hectares of agricultural land across the state was damaged by the flooding and the loss is estimated to be worth around Rs 2.5 crore, Indian Express reported.
Moreover, banana and rice plantations in several parts of north Goa were flattened by incessant rain.
Flood relief rescue efforts for Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Goa are being made by the Indian Navy. The Goa Coast Guard also carried out four helicopter sorties and dropped 200 food packets to people stranded in the floods.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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