Cyclone Phyan, which passed along the Mumbai and Konkan coasts, claimed four lives on Wednesday and caused massive damage to property in the coastal districts of Ratnagiri, Raigad, Sindhudurg, Thane and Palghar in Maharashtra.
The depression in the Arabian Sea gave way to a low pressure zone, causing heavy rain, accompanied by gusty winds, between 4.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. The average rainfall was 39 mm, Ramesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Relief and Rehabilitation), told journalists.
He said 569 houses were damaged in Ratnagiri, 102 in Raigad and 95 in Sindhudurg. Two villages in Palghar and five in Dahanu were evacuated. Several boats went missing, pointing to the possibility to more deaths.
S.C. Mohanty, Director of Disaster Management, told The Hindu that two boats were missing in Ratnagiri and Thane. One boat from Tamil Nadu was damaged. In Sindhudurg, 34 boats were washed away and at Nivati in the same district 89 boats and 870 fishnets were reported damaged.
In view of the cyclone threat, schools and colleges were told to close by 1 p.m. and government offices by 2 p.m. By evening, the intensity of the cyclone wore off.
Mr. Kumar said the cyclone had weakened and there was no further possibility of damage. However, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) had not withdrawn its warning.
Mr. Mohanty said the administration pressed into service two teams of the National Disaster Management Force, comprising 70 persons each and eight boats. The teams were positioned in Thane. Heavy rain was expected in Marathwada and Konkan.
In the last 100 years, there were 12 instances of cyclone hitting the State.