Saturday, July 25, 2009

High tides in Chennai too...

A sense of understated fear wafted in the shore areas of Chennai as memories of a distant disastrous day came in waves, with the sea water encroaching into unchartered territories.

Though the tides were predicted by the Met officials, the rise in sea water in places like Srinivasapuram and Pattinapakkam, rang alarm bells among the residents, while the thoughts of tsunami hung in the area like the persistent smell of fish that the area is quite famous for. The sea water entered many hutment dotting the quaint coast of Chennai.

But even as Chennai’s shoreline was washed with warm waters of a turbulent sea, Mumbai was being lashed with high tides. According to reports, 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 was 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.

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 were at hand to witness the nature erupting in joy or anger

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