The Tauktae Cyclone created havoc in the tiny state making life more difficult during the pandemic. It was unexpected and long power cuts in the various parts of the state made it impossible to get one. The most affected were the people who were in home isolation with oxygen support.
The Cyclone that started from Kerala reached Goa on Sunday, uprooting hundreds of trees and damaging several hundred houses, killing two it proceeded towards Maharashtra and Gujarat but before leaving it devastated the entire state.
The power supply in the various parts of the state got majorly affected due to the uprooting of trees and despite the efforts of fire services on the war footing basis it could not be restored back.
As the state that is already facing a major setback due to the pandemic had a double impact due to the cyclone. Most of the Covid patients in Home Isolation with the oxygen support were left with no choice but to search for Generators to maintain the power supply.
Most of the parts of the state were told that the power won’t be restored before 48 hours and that made the relatives of the covid patients make frantic attempts to secure the backup generators.
The people desperate to get hold of the Generators started posting on social media appealing to the people of Goa for the backup generators.
Deepa George from Succoro, who tried to get help on the internet for a senior citizen with a lung problem who needs oxygen support most of the time, told TOI, “Though the patient’s family has an inverter, with long spell of outages, backup was needed. So, we all started messaging friends and acquaintances including SOS on social media.”
The magic of social media worked and they received two Gensets, “Not just one, but we received two generators. I’m so glad that there are people out there who are willing to help in these difficult times,” she said.
But the demand kept rising from the various parts of the state as everyone wanted to get power back up despite having the inverters, as Inverters would last only for a couple of hours. In another incident, a Covid patient who got discharged from the hospital required to be given Oxygen support also started looking for the genes but in vain finally, his friend managed to get one for him.
“It was difficult to get a generator on hire, as suddenly the demand went up as it became clear by afternoon that electricity supply would not be restored today (Sunday). I got it from a shopkeeper as his shop was closed due to the curfew,” said Ramakant Naik from Ponda.
In another instance, the family of a man dependent on an oxygen machine stated they were willing to do anything, hire or even buy a generator, from anyone who could help. Another volunteer received distress calls from youth who were away from their parents.
“The son of a senior citizen asked if anyone could help his father at Dabolim, who had been Covid positive for a week but had run out of food and drinking water,” a volunteer told TOI.
“We also got calls for patients stressed as their oxygen concentrator batteries were dying out,” the volunteer said. Till late night, a family in North Goa was looking for a generator for their family friend on a ventilator.
Besides the Covid Patients, there were many other individuals and families who failed to secure one due to huge demand and unavailability of the Gensets in the state.