VIJAYAWADA: Though north coastal Andhra districts escaped the impact of Cyclone Jawad, it caused intense activity in the sea. About 200-metre stretch of land from the Children’s Park at RK Beach to Durgalamma temple caved in due to erosion caused by the sea surge. The retaining wall collapsed and the ground developed big cracks. Having learnt about it, Maharanipeta police barricaded the entire area in the early hours of Sunday to prevent movement of people.
Additional DCP (Traffic) Ch Adinarayana said they stopped the movement of vehicles in the subway near the park. Entry into the beach from the Children’s Park to Gokul Park was restricted. However, traffic towards the fishing harbour from the NTR statue was normal and there was usual holiday rush at RK Beach on Sunday.
This is the third such incident at RK Beach in the last few years. The Kurusura Submarine Museum area suffered soil erosion due to sea surge first and a portion of the footpath caved in. The two places were later strengthened based on a study undertaken by the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIO T) and II T Madras. An incident of soil erosion also occurred at Bheemili.
Speaking to TNIE, NIOT Vizag Regional Head GPS Murthy said though there was no direct impact of Cyclone Jawad on Vizag, it caused a disturbance in the sea. Soil erosion might have occurred due to wave action following the sea surge, he said.
If erosion occurs at one place, there will be deposition at another place due to the release of energy caused by a disturbance in the sea. There is a need for a long-term study to take permanent measures to prevent further erosion at the beach road, he said.
He observed that development in coastal areas has been taking its toll. “After the construction of the Kakinada port, Uppada is facing erosion to a large extent. This has been happening though Uppada is far away from the Kakinada port,” he said. Studies on the impact of offshore development used to be undertaken only in the close vicinity. Instead, there should be long-term studies covering a large domain to assess the impact accurately. There is no data to identify vulnerable areas along the beach and predict dynamics of the sea. The impact is visible only when there is a sea surge, he added.
GVMC Commissioner G Lakshmisha said they noticed a small erosion at the retaining wall at the Children’s Park and immediately barricaded the entire area as a precautionary measure. “We are waiting for a report from the NIOT on beach safety. A shoreline protection project on a long-term basis will be taken up based on the NIOT report,” he told TNIE.