Sunday night’s supermoon, and not cyclone Ockhi, was responsible for the rise in seawater levels, which damaged the state’s coastline and beach shacks, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Wednesday. Parrikar also said that the state had no standard operating procedures in place for managing such crises and natural disasters, adding that the required SOPs were being worked out. “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,” Parrikar said at a press conference at the State Secretariat here. “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 was added up. So the damage was slightly more.”
As many as 12 beaches in the tourism-friendly state were affected by the rise in seawater level on Sunday night when Cyclone Ockhi skimmed the Goa coastline. It caused sand erosion in many places and damaged beach shacks, which cater to the hundreds and thousands of tourists who visit the state every year. Asked to respond to criticism of the state government vis-a-vis a lack of warning for coastal dwellers and business establishments on the beach and poor disaster response mechanisms, Parrikar said that currently there were no SOPs in place to tackle such issues. “In the current (scenario), there is no standard operating procedure (SOP). So today we discussed (this). I have asked the Revenue Minister to work out the SOP. The biggest problem in every aspect is that there is no SOP. So people do not know what to do next,” Parrikar said.