Rains lash Goa, 150 families shifted in four tehsils

Rains lash Goa, 150 families shifted in four tehsils
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Panaji:  Some 150 families have been evacuated in four tehsils of Goa following heavy rains and release of water from Tillari dam on Goa-Maharashtra border, the state government informed on Thursday.

Tourists and fishermen were advised to stay away from the sea.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said the government was on high alert in view of the forecast of heavy rain in the next few days.

Heavy rains lashed several parts of Goa, including the state capital Panaji, on Thursday morning.

Sawant told the Legislative Assembly that 150-odd families were evacuated to safer places in Pernem, Bicholim, Canacona and Bardez tehsils in the last 48 hours.

"Heavy rains are likely to continue for another two to three days, so we appeal people to avoid venturing into the sea. A high alert has been sounded along the coast and people, including tourists and fishermen, have been asked to stay away from the waters," Sawant told reporters earlier in the day.

Several villages in Bardez, Pernem and Bicholim in North Goa district were flooded after water was released from Tillari dam following heavy showers in the catchment area, he said.

The dam is located in North Goa along the border with Maharashtra.

"Sal village in Bicholim tehsil was the worst-affected as several houses were inundated there. Villagers were shifted to safer places by the disaster management department team," the chief minister said.

Deputy collectors and Mamlatdars (tehsil officials) have been asked to assess the damage and submit reports, he stated in the Assembly later.

"It will take at least three to four days to quantify the loss. We would approach the Center for funds," he said.

For now, help would be provided through the Chief Minister's Relief Fund and State Disaster Management Authority, he said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) office here on Wednesday had predicted "heavy to very heavy" rainfall in the next couple of days.