Imagine the shacks had been set up and the Cyclonic rain have destroyed everything. Incessant rains lashing the state in the past two days have brought life to a standstill. The coastal areas were hit the most especially the Calangute – Candolim beach stretch on Friday. Gauravaddo in Calangute and Ximer in Candolim were the worst affected what with the seawater having entered houses and large tracts of land belonging to hotels and resorts being washed away.
Johnny Silveira, a shack and water sports operator said that water entered the sea-facing portion of his house in Gaurawaddo. Many of the sheds for boats and fishing equipment were also damaged.
The cyclonic condition coupled with high tide led to waves lashing the shores in the early part of the morning even as seawater climbed deep inside the beach in Sinquerim and Baga leading to massive sand erosion.
In Baga, the seawater made its way onto the beach at around 8 am and the receding sea water swallowed an enormous amount of sand exposing the stone embankment on the beach. The waters also entered into some of the restaurants on the beach.
“The water entered inside our restaurant between 8 am to 8.30 am but we were prepared for it as the warning of a cyclone was announced the previous night,” said some personnel working at the Fisherman’s Nook Sea Food Restaurant and Bar on Baga beach.
The exposure of the concrete reinforcement of an electrical pole on the beach indicated the massive amount of sand erosion on the popular beach.
“Before the water entered the beach today morning the concrete reinforcement of the electrical pole was covered with sand. Now, there is a risk for the pole which could come down,” one of the restaurant’s personnel said.
A resident of Calangute, Neville Proenca confirmed that soil erosion indeed took place on Friday morning but he also said that normalcy will be restored very soon. “The sand will come back. Nature works in its own way to repair and restore balance,” Proenca said to The Goan.
In Sinquerim also the water entered deep inside the beach leading to massive sand erosion. Several locals uploaded videos on the social media platforms of seawater making its way on to the beach in Sinquerim.
Despite the rains and rough conditions of the sea several domestic tourists made their way on to the Calangute and Baga beach. The skeletal lifeguards on the beach made frantic announcements requesting the tourists not to venture into the waters. The fluttering red flags on the beach warned tourists from swimming in the sea.
The allotment of shacks was delayed by the Government this year which proved to be advantageous for some shack owners at least. Silveira said, “If the allotment of shacks was completed and if we had put up shacks, they would have been washed away”.
The Candolim –Sinquerim beach stretch has also eroded and now shacks owners say that they will wait for sufficient time for things to get normal. General Secretary of the Shack owner’s welfare society (SOWS), John Lobo said that it would at least a month for the beach to recover. On Friday, the retaining wall near Baga creek also collapsed with the force of waves.
Meanwhile, in Pernem the life of the common man was thrown out of gear thanks to the continuous rains and water rising along the coastal belt. Fisherfolk complained that many of their nets and boats were washed out. Even the shed, where they keep their belongings collapsed. Fishermen of Morjim demanded that the government provides them with assistance.
Samir Morje fisherman from Morjim added that to build the new shed, it would cost them more than Rs 50,000 and that the damages to nets and boats would also be expensive. “Our business and livelihood have been badly affected,” he lamented.
However, at Arambol, the fishermen played it safe, by removing all their boats and other belongings from the beach and their fishing boats were kept above sea levels.
However private shack owners faced loss as their belongings such as the sunbeds, umbrellas were washed out into the sea.
Arambol panch member Daniel D’Souza added that they had taken the necessary steps in advance to salvage the situation.