Phailin fails to kill the Mass but bringing back life to normal is a big challenge in Odisha
By Rabinarayan Panda
Cyclone Phailin Impact
As cyclonic storm Phailin crash landed at Odisha Coast, a huge disaster as forecasted by Meteorological department was on its rapid spread. Phailin failed to kill but bringing back life to normal is a big challenge.
Landed at Gopalpur, the entire Ganjam District was the worst hit with the sea coast houses mostly used by fishermen community was reduced to rubble.
Thousands of dwelling houses spread over 12 districts were completely or partially damaged; standing crops in hundreds of hectors were lost. The power infrastructure in Ganjam perhaps could not be restored in next couple of months with nature’s wrath just making the towers of power supply crumble.
14 year back in October 1999 a similar cyclone had struck Odisha and it had left behind 10,000 people dead apart from unprecedented destruction to property. A massive preparation and preparedness coupled with large scale evacuation of people from vulnerable area could saved many precious lives.
Against 10,000 in 1999, the death toll was restricted to 43 this time with 22 people being dead in flash flood specially in Balasore and Mayurbhanj Districts and that too half of the 21 core cyclone area death were in tree falling and other accidents.
The State Disaster Managements Minister Shri Surjya Narayan Patro claimed 12396065 people evacuated from 151blocks, 2015Grama Panchyat,18117 village, 43 urban areas spread over 12 districts. Scale of evacuation unparalleled in the world.
The State Chief Minister Shri Navin Patnaik said that Ganjam district has been severely hit with over 419052 kutcha houses being damaged. However, he said that relief and rehabilitation work is underway. 668268 hector agricultural land damaged by cyclone and heavy rainfall.
In the coastal town of Gopalpur, one of the worst-affected areas, hundreds of terrified residents spent the night huddled in shelters, schools and public buildings.
Aftermath of Phailin
Now in Odisha, major rivers, including Budhabalanga and Subarnarekha, Brahmani, Boitarani have swelled, leading to flooding in four districts. Flood waters have left nearly 1,71,083 people stranded in Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts, officials say. Even several areas of Mayurbhanj district, Baripada, Betanati and Badasahi blocks have been severely hit in the floods. The state government deployed armed forces and NDRF teams to rescue the people stranded across districts. The state government has launched relief operations in the flooded areas to rescue the stranded people and move them to safety. Air packets were also dropped by helicopters in the flooded areas today.
13 electricity towers damaged all over Odisha, including 9 in Ganjam. Electricity grid in Narendranath town in Ganjam district is fully damaged.
Telecom services have also suffered a major blow. The high wind speed also left the antennae at several places twisted and snapped, further affecting mobile services. There has been a severe loss of property in the cyclone.
Disaster management workers helped by the army and navy have been deployed to perform rescue operations. Thousands of people who were evacuated before the cyclone have begun returning to their homes. But the intense storm has made more than half a million people homeless, state government officials said.
Many, however, remain in temporary shelters because their villages and homes have been destroyed or inundated.
Report – Up to 17.10.13
Effected District- 12
Blocks – 151
Grama Panchayat -2015
Affected Person -12396065
Death( Person) -43
Agricultural Field damage -668268( Hector)
Affected house -419052
Death( Cattle)- 4383