Rescue, relief, rehabilitation work under way
Sanjay Behera | October 14, 2013
After Cyclone Phailin ravaged the coastal districts of Odisha, especially Gopalpur in Ganjam, Puri and Chilika region now floods have wreaked havoc in the state. Three rivers, Baitarani, Budhabalanga and Surbarnarekha, are flowing above the danger level.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik made a aerial survey and landed in Gopalpur in Ganjam district. After returning to Bhubaneswar on Monday he said that there has been double damage in the Odisha due to cyclone followed by floods.
Due to the cyclone and floods 128 blocks, 1,924 gram panchayats and 40 urban local bodies have been affected. There have been 21 casualties in Odisha. In Balasore district three people have died, while the toll is three in Puri, nine in Ganjam, two in Nayagarh and one each in Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Bolangir. A total of 1,18, 199,594 people have been affected and 10,13,644 evacauated while 2,48,822 houses have been damaged, CM said.
“When we were battling with Cyclone Phailin the flood situation has become grim in Odisha. The Budhabalanga river swelled and about 10 feet high water entered Baripada town. The whole city is inundated and patients at the district headquarters hospital had to be shifted to the first floor,” Patnaik said. He added that the situation in Balasore district in north Odisha was grim. The army, navy, air force and NDRF have been pressed into service for relief and rescue operations. Air dropping of food packets has been started by the navy and air force.
In Balasore, four blocks - Jaleswar, Remuna, Bhograi and Balasore sadar - have been affected by floods. About 2.5 lakh people have been marooned in these areas. In Bhadrak, Bhandari Pokhari, Dhamnagar and Chandbali have been affected too. Jajpur district, Korei, Dasrathpur and Jajpur has been flooded. However, the situation in Mayurbhanj district is severe and people have been affected badly. About 10 blocks have been affected Gadasahi and Betanati has been severely affected. The flood situation in Keonjhar district is not so grim, as water in the Baitarani has started to recede.
The state government has also now requested the central agencies and utilities like PGCIL, NTPC and NHPC to assist in power restoration work in the severely hit areas.
At present, the very severe cyclonic storm has formed into a deep depression over north Chhattisgarh and adjoining areas of Odisha and Jharkhand moved north-northeastwards and weakened into a depression. It lay centred close to southwest of Daltonganj (Jharkhand). The system would move north-northeastwards and weaken gradually into a well marked low pressure area by today evening, said Indian meteorological department (IMD) Director Dr Sarat Chandra Sahu.
There would be rain or thundershowers at one or two places over Odisha during next 24 hours. The warning signal has been lowered in all ports of Odisha. The surface wind speed would be 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph along and off the Odisha coast and state of Sea would be rough to very rough along and off Odisha coast, Dr Sahu added.
Fishermen are also advised not to venture into sea.
Due to the deep depression formed due to Phailin, there has been rain and thundershower at most places over Odisha during next 24 hours, said Dr Sahu.
Heavy to very heavy falls at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls (25cm) would occur over North Odisha and heavy rainfall at one or two places in south Odisha during next 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government began relief and restoration work. The calamity has affected 80,53,620 people of 12 distrits.
“We have already started restoration work and all concerned district collectors to suggest people to return to their houses,” said Surya Narayan Patro, revenue and disaster management minister. Though the figure for human casualty has remained 21, a large population has been hit by the calamity where their houses, crop, cattle and domestic animal suffered, he said.
Ganjam was the worst hit district followed by Puri, special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra said. Districts like Kendrapara, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Balasore, Bhadrak, Khurda, Cuttack, Keonjhar and Kandhamal have also been hit.
“A special task force has been set in Berhampur to restore power in Berhampur Municipal Corporation area as damage reported so far is not less than Gopalpur,” Mohapatra said.
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