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High tides hit Goa’s coastline

Margao/Canacona: Goa’s coastline experienced an unusual high tide at 2.33 metres just before noon on Sunday. With wind speeds recorded at 40-45 kmph, another high tide hit the coastline at 4.5 metres.

Seawater hit the vegetation line, man-made platforms and even private shacks on beaches in Salcete and Canacona.
The Coast Guard had put up red flags everywhere warning people not to venture into the rough sea.

Although the high tides was not as high as reported in Mumbai at 4.97 metres, interestingly no indications or warnings were issued by the local metrology department, the State Disaster Management Authority or any other authority.

When Herald tried to contact the Port Meteorological Office at Sada for comments no one answered the call.

Meanwhile, water levels rose dangerously high at Palolem and other beaches in Canacona taluka following high tide and high velocity winds on Sunday afternoon.As predicted by India Meteorology Department (IMD), Goa, wind speeds of up to 50 kms per hour and temporarily reaching 70 kms per hour hit the taluka’s coastal areas. Worst affected was Palolem beach, as the high waves hit the beach and washed away tonnes of sand.

The locals and some tourists were witness to the scary scene at the beach entrance. The tide at around 1 pm on Sunday added to the water surge with most waves touching a height of above 1 metre, while one such wave was higher than the significant height.

Locals informed that such water surge occurs during this time of the year and that they are aware of the dangers such activity poses due to which all fishermen stayed away from the rough sea. However, the enthusiastic youth took to sports fishing on the high rocks by the rough sea at various spots in the taluka.

Meanwhile, Sunday’s high wave swells, although unusual, is not an abnormal phenomenon, says Dr Antonio Mascarenhas, a retired NIO researcher and former member of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority GCZMA.

“The waves are wind driven. When there is a high tide, say 2.33 metres, the winds of around 40 kmph carry the waves even higher, which is why we have waves upto 4.5 metres. The high waves break above the beach. This is normal monsoon phenomena.”

“During this time, the beach sand level goes down. We have to leave the beach for nature to rejuvenate it during October, November and December”. He stated that when the shacks are erected soon after the monsoon, the beach does not get adequate time to rejuvenate itself.

Beaches, which have a higher elevation and tall dunes, are able to withstand such tides, he said.

The High Tide Line is demarcated on Regional Plans and Outline Development Plans. In that context, he said, adequate setbacks need to be shown in the Regional Plan. [H]

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