Mumbai braces for highest tide in 100 years
Mumbai (IANS): Nearly 200 people have been evacuated from coastal areas, warnings have been sent out to those in low-lying regions and schools have advised students to stay at home as the financial capital braces for a massive 5.5 metre high tidal wave, billed as the highest in 100 years, to lash it Friday afternoon.
The high tide is expected to hit Mumbai and the surrounding Konkan region at 2.05 p.m. The waters will ebb only after three to four hours, met officials said.
In the past two days, as waves measuring 4.85 and 5.1 metres lashed Mumbai, civic and disaster management authorities evacuated people -- mostly shanty dwellers -- from vulnerable areas like Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Andheri, Jogeshwari and even parts of neighbouring Thane.
The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has issued warnings to people in low-lying areas to watch out for the gigantic tide Friday and take adequate precautions.
On Thursday, sea water rushed into several buildings in Cuffe Parade, Worli, Dadar, Prabhadevi, Andheri, Juhu, Khar and Malad.
Even mayor Shubha Raul's official bungalow at Shivaji Park in Dadar was not spared. The huge waves knocked down a compound wall.
In Thane, the district adjacent to Mumbai, waterlogging attributed to the high tide was reported from residential areas in places like Uttan, Palghar, Boisar and Dahanu but there have been no casualties so far.
Some schools have advised students to stay at home in view of the high tide, but there has been no official announcement of closure by the government.
However, for many Mumbaikars, the tides offered a rare view of a natural phenomenon after clouds obscured the solar eclipse Wednesday.
Thousands of people excitedly saw the tides from a safe distance at places like Colaba, Marine Drive, Girgaum Chowpatty, Worli Sea-Face, Bandra Bandstand, Juhu Beach, Gorai Beach and Marve Beach yesterday. Today, greater numbers are expected.
Crowds had assembled even at the Thane Creek and commuters were seen craning their necks to see the swirling waters as the trains crossed the railway bridges at Bhayander Creek.
Last week, the MCGM had inserted big and small advertisements in newspapers, warning people of the potential damage that could be wreaked by the high tides and contact details for emergency services.
As many as 11 hotlines have been established and 34 rain gauges have been installed from where round-the-clock information is being collected. Control rooms have been set up at all the 24 civic wards.
Officials said that MCGM would also monitor the situation in flood-prone areas through CCTVs.