Cyclone Nisarga: Sudden evacuation leaves Juhu residents confused

Updated: Jun 04, 2020, 07:14 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

BMC officials show up at Juhu Ruia Park around 10 am, make over 300 people board BEST mini buses headed to Ritambhara College

Residents of Geeta Nagar hop on to a tempo that will take them to a safe location, on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
Residents of Geeta Nagar hop on to a tempo that will take them to a safe location, on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Everything happened quite suddenly and rather quickly for more than 300 residents of Juhu Ruia Park in Moragaon when BMC officials reached the housing society on Wednesday morning and announced that they would be temporarily shifted to a safer place, as the colony was just 200 metres from the beach. They were made to board BEST mini buses and taken to the nearby Ritambhara College where arrangements had been made.

Aniket, a 21-year-old resident of the Andheri West society, said the civic body and the police jointly conducted the evacuation. "The officials arrived around 10 am and informed the people whose homes were close to the beach to pack all their important stuff as they would be shifted to a nearby college," he said, adding, "By 11.40 am, people were put into buses and taken away. A lot of the younger crowd, and those whose homes were a little farther away from the beach, and therefore, did not need to be evacuated, drove the others to the college in their vehicles. The authorities told the residents that the area was at high risk because of its proximity to the beach."

Residents board a BEST mini bus for Ritambhara College on Wednesday
Residents board a BEST mini bus for Ritambhara College on Wednesday

Aniket and his family were not evacuated, as their home was slightly farther away from the beach. "My mother was safe at home while me and my brother were helping to transport the residents to the college in order to ensure that everyone was safe," he said.

According to him, a total of 327 people, which is approximately 75 per cent of the society's residential population, were shifted to Rithambara College. The residents had to wait there till 5 pm. The desks and chairs in the classrooms on the first and second floors were removed and makeshift beds and mattresses were put in their place.

Residents board a BEST mini bus for Ritambhara College on Wednesday

"The residents were also given water and snacks. Around 5 pm, we got to know that the worst of the storm had passed, and that people could go back home. This time as the residents had to arrange for their own transport, the youngsters ferried them on their bikes and vehicles back to their homes," he said, adding, "There was no such damage in the colony. Everybody was safe."

327
No. of residents who were temporarily evacuated

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