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Fishing trawlers and barges seen anchored in River Mandovi on Monday. Trawlers did not venture into the sea on Monday fearing rough sea condition following a Met department warning that a cyclone is likely to hit the west coast. Nandesh Kambli | NT

Move to safer places for next 72 hrs, govt urges Canacona residents

CANACONA/PANAJI: In the wake of Cyclone Nilofar, which is likely to hit the western coast of the country, particularly the Gujarat state, while bringing heavy rains to Goa, the disaster management cell in Canacona has identified certain areas prone to flooding and landslides and asked the residents to vacate their houses for the next 72 hours and move to safer places.

North Goa collector Nila Mohanan Monday said that all departments linked to disaster management like the fire services, PWD and others have been put on alert and are ready to meet any emergency that arises due to the cyclone and heavy rain. She also said that the authorities have identified certain areas around Panaji like Taleigao, particularly areas of Camara Bhat, Khazan Bhat and Peter Bhat, which have been earlier affected by floods due to heavy rain showers.

Nearly 80 per cent of the fishing trawlers did not venture into the high seas following a strict warning issued by the fisheries department. President of Mandovi Fisheries Cooperative and Marketing Society, Malim, Menino Afonso said that the fisheries department had issued a warning on Sunday for 24 hours. He said that a few trawlers which had already left for the high seas towards Karwar, Honnavar and other areas have docked their boats there due to the cyclonic storm condition in the sea. He hoped that the situation becomes normal even as a fresh warning for 24 hours has been issued by the department.

After the India Meteorological Department (IMD) Sunday gave a warning that Goa is likely to experience heavy rain due to the approaching cyclone, the government had put five talukas – Sanguem, Quepem, Salcete, Canacona and Sattari – on alert stating that they are likely to witness a flood-like situation.

The disaster management cell in Canacona under the in-charge, deputy collector Ajit Panchwadkar has actively involved itself in getting ready to meet any eventuality in the taluka. Official sources said that low-lying areas like Davalkhazan and Val in Agonda, Galgibaga, Poinguinnim, and Polem and Maxem-Babrem in Loliem have been identified and people there have been alerted.

Similarly, area near the Ambdem Wada in Khola, Saturli mountain in Gaondongrem, Avali, Kuskem and Nadkem mountains in Cotigao, near Ventakesh temple at Pannaskhandem, near Sanjay Pinge shop at Sheli in Loliem-Polem, area from Panyefond to Dedke-Tar and area near the Katyayani Bhaneshwar Vidyalaya at Kindlem-Pansulem have been identified as prone to landslides.

Panchwadkar said that the people residing in areas like Peddem, Babrem, Val and Davalkhazan have been told to shift with their belongings to safer places identified by the disaster management cell like temples and schools in the vicinity.

Panchwadkar held a meeting with senior officials from the vulnerable areas and directed them to be on guard to meet any eventuality during the next 72 hours. The meeting was attended by officials of PWD, road division as well as water and buildings division, BDOs, mamlatdar and joint mamlatdars, medical officers, CDPOs, electricity executive engineer, police officer and fire station officer.

Stating that the disaster management cell has made arrangements for providing food and shelter in case of emergency, Panchwadkar said that the fire services, forest and the electricity officials have been directed to coordinate with the control room and cut down trees which could prove dangerous to people and houses. He also said that around 20 additional labourers have been assigned to the control room for assistance. Since Sunday, the rain recorded in Canacona is 48.4 mm, informed deputy collector’s office.

Stating that the authorities are prepared to meet any emergency and evacuate affected people if Goa is affected by the cyclone, Mohanan said that all mamlatdars, joint mamlatdars and talathis have been put on alert and that they are collecting reports from all the areas likely to be affected. She also said that water level is being monitored in different areas but added that as per reports available with the authorities, the cyclone is fast moving towards the Gujarat coast. “Don’t create a panicky situation in the state as the Cyclone Nilofar will only bring rain,” she said.

Stating that all departments linked to disaster management have been alerted, Mohanan said that authorities, particularly of Keri in Sattari taluka have been put on high alert. “We have also identified certain areas in Sattari, Bicholim talukas and also Kumbharjua,” she said adding that the mamlatdars are collecting reports every hour to assess the situation.  Mohanan also mentioned about the control room number 1077 in case of an emergency and said that taluka-level control room numbers are also in place.

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