The supermoon on December 3 and not Cyclone Ockhi per se was responsible for the rise in seawater level that damaged Goa’’s coastline and beach shacks, according to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
At a press briefing post a Cabinet meeting, when asked about the State’s disaster management preparedness, Mr. Parrikar admitted that the State had no standard operating procedures (SOP) in place for managing such crises and natural disasters. The required SOPs were being worked out, he added.
“The reason for the seawater level rise is simple. It is because there was a supermoon that day. Many people did not realise this. Supermoon means the biggest tidal effect. So as it is, even if there was no cyclone, you would have had the tide and most of the tide would have entered the shacks,” he said.
“So first of all, this incident would have taken place even without a cyclone, because the water would be much higher than normal high tide. It is a special day; on that day it happens. With cyclone impact, some rise in water level added up. So the damage was slightly more,” he said.
Nearly a dozen beaches along the State’s 100 km coastline were affected by the rise in seawater level on December 3 night. This led to sand erosion in many places and damage to beach shacks, temporarily erected eateries on beaches, which cater to the tourists, especially foreigners.
Responding to criticism of the State government for poor disaster response mechanisms, Mr. Parrikar said, “At present, there is no SOP in place. So today we discussed. I have asked Revenue Minister to work out the SOPs. This is the biggest problem. So people do not know what to do next.”
“This is one of the best thing I learnt from the Army. Everywhere, even if they have to shave, they will have SOP. How the clothes have to be tied. What should be the colour of the clothes,” Mr. Parrikar said recalling his experience as Defence Minister.
He said that he could definitely take the help of defence experts while putting in place a strong and responsive disaster management mechanism.