Nisarga leaves trail of damage in Maha
CM UDDHAV THACKERAY VISITED AREAS OF ALIBAG AND ANNOUNCED ₹100 CRORE FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF WORK
MUMBAI: In Shahabaj village, 17km from Alibaug, 28-year-old Ashwini Bhagat and her husband Tanmay are surveying the damage to the roof. Residents of Mumbai, they visited their village two months ago and were forced to stay back after the national lockdown on March 25.
Last week, a severe cyclonic storm made landfall around 100 km south of Alibaug, an elite resort town and fishing village in Maharashtra’s coastal district of Raigad. At least 500,000 homes, including Bhagats’ village home, have been damaged by Nisarga in Raigad alone though a red alert was sounded for seven Konkan districts as well as a few in northern Maharshtra. At least 5,000 hectares in Palghar, and 8,000 hectares of agricultural cropland in Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Raigad and Nashik among other districts have been affected, including farms growing onions and grapes.
“We have been living without power or water supply for four days now,” Bhagat said. “Officials say it will take minimum four days for power supply to be restored,” Tanmay said.
On Friday, CM Uddhav Thackeray visited areas of Alibag and announced ₹100 crore for immediate relief work. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd said it is working on a war-footing to restore electricity.
The day before the cyclone was to make landfall, the state evacuated several thousand from the coastline, including 13, 245 in Raigad and 15,080 in Palghar. So while destruction to life has been minimal -- six died, and 16 injured -- damage to mobile towers, trees and power has been tremendous.
In Thal, 8km from Alibag, Mukund Sapre has lost an acre of his farm, completely destroying coconut trees, banana and betel nut plantations. “My mother said she has not seen something this bad in her life. We could see the trees moving in circles before they collapsed. It was scary,” said 29-year-old Jaydatta Nikalje, resident of Vaibhav Nagar in Alibag.
Till Friday, the Nikalje family had lost power supply. “Parts of the town started getting supply only by Saturday morning,” said Nikalje, a digital marketing professional.