INDIA. Mumbai: At least four persons died, two tugs were drifted off the Mumbai coast, several trees were uprooted even as torrential rains lashed Konkan and adjoining areas including Mumbai, following the intensification of cyclone Tauktae on Monday.
The two barges with 410 persons on board were drifted off the Mumbai coast in the Arabian sea. The barge ‘P305’ drifted off the “Heera Oil Fields” of ONGC in the Bombay High area with 273 people on board. Another barge ‘GAL Constructor’ with 137 people on board was drifted around 8 nautical miles from Mumbai. Two Indian Navy ships-“ INS Kolkata” and “INS Kochi” were on their way to Mumbai to join the search and rescue mission an Indian Navy spokesman said.
Earlier in the day, a naval helicopter was despatched to rescue stranded crew members of the Indian flagged Tug ‘Coromandel Supporter XI’ drifted North West of Mangalore in neighbouring Karnataka.
State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) on Monday said that a barge with 261 of its personnel deployed for offshore drilling in Bombay High in the Arabian Sea got de-anchored and started drifting because of the cyclonic storm. However, all the 261 people onboard barge P305 were accounted for and the barge was “steadied”, an official spokesperson said.
The flight operations at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport remained suspended till Monday evening. The Bandra-Worli sea link was closed for traffic because of the strong winds and people were asked to take alternate routes, BMC PRO Tanaji Kamble said.
Local train services of the Central Railway were disrupted between Ghatkopar and Vikhroli for about half an hour as a tree fell on the overhead wire while a train was heading towards neighbouring Thane. Services on the harbor line, that provides rail connectivity to Navi Mumbai, were also affected after a vinyl banner fell on an overhead wire between Chunabhatti and Guru Teg Bahadur stations around 11.45 am. The banner was removed after about half an hour and train services were resumed. CR chief public relations officer (CPRO) Shivaji Sutar said water-logging was observed on the Up (going towards CSMT) and Down (going towards Panvel) tracks at Masjid station after which services were suspended on the corridor from 1:20 pm onwards.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD)’ Colaba observatory recorded 79.4 mm rainfall in South Mumbai and the Santacruz observatory recorded 44.5 mm rainfall in suburban Mumbai on Monday morning.
Kiran Koli, General Secretary of the Maharashtra Macchimar Kruti Samiti said that a fishing boat “Prarthana” (No IND-MH-MM-2534) anchored at Madh island in North Mumbai was sunk. While four sailors rescued themselves the fifth sailor was missing. Besides, two other boats-“Sonyachi Jejuri”(No.IND-MH-2-MM-5851)and “Mangla Gauri Prasanna”(No. IND-MH-2-MM-3159), suffered heavy damage. He demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the lost boat and Rs 5 lakh for the damaged boats. He also demanded compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the next of the kin of the sailors killed in the Konkan region.
Heavy water-logging was seen in several places as the rains with wind speed up to 120 kmph lashed Mumbai and adjoining areas till night. Due to heavy downpour, several housing society compounds were flooded giving them a look of mini water pools. The fire brigade received several complaints of 100 trees falling, throughout Mumbai.
Two boats anchored at the Anandwadi harbour in Sindhudurg district drowned, an official statement said, adding that seven sailors were on board the two vessels. A sailor, identified as Rajaram Kadam, from Devgad taluka in the district died in the incident. Besides, one person died in a rain-related incident in Raigad district, state minister Aditi Tatkare said in a post on Twitter. Nearly 1,104 structures were damaged in Raigad, while one structure got destroyed due to the storm, the minister said. In addition, two persons were killed in Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar after trees fell on them, in Thane district, officials said.
Reports from Karnataka said that that six people lost their lives in the cyclone that hit coastal and surrounding Malnad districts. According to a situation report by Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority officials, 121 villages and 22 talukas were affected by the cyclone.
In the meanwhile, the cyclone which batted Goa and coastal areas of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and Lakshadweep island in the last three days, made landfall in Gujarat on Monday evening. Thousands of people including COVID-19 patients from hospitals near the coast were evacuated. Satellite images showed the eye of the cyclone is entering the Saurashtra coast. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the Chief Ministers of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa and the Lieutenant Governor of Daman & Diu to take stock of the situation in the state.