Correct climate prediction and timely migration of 9 lakh people in wake of cyclone Phailin that hit the coast of Odisha reduced the death toll to about nine.
India survived the wrath of tropical storm Phailin that crushed the coast of Odisha as correct climate prediction and timely migration of almost 9 lakh people reduced the death toll to about nine, indicating enhanced disaster awareness as a comparison with fatal storm that had mass murdered 10,000 people in the same area 14 years ago.
Cyclone Phailin, which ruined Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh with gusts of 230 kph, dig up trees, blew away billboards and water tanks on roofs and garbled communication and electricity wires, had fizzled out with frictions from land as it rushed to the interior areas of the state but heavy rainfall is projected in the state and bordering areas of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh. Roads were scattered with trees and wreckage, while thousands of telecoms towers were broken.
While Odisha have seen blue skies on Monday, weather scientists said that in the consequences of the hurricane, heavy rainfall can result to flooding in vast areas. The Met department has announced flood warning for Bihar with Kosi and Gandak river flowing over danger mark. The India Meteorological Department said the hurricane lashed 14 districts of Odisha and five in Andhra Pradesh after hitting Gopalpur between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm on Saturday. Reportedly IMD’s cyclone warning division chief Dr Mrutunjay Mohapatra had said “From Monday there will be no unpleasant weather. Though, the fishermen are for now recommended not to venture into sea along and off Odisha and West Bengal coast.”
Rail services from Kolkata to Puri were restored on Sunday. State government officials said electricity supply and telecommunications will be returned to regular very fast. In many areas, power supply was turned off as a safety measure. In Andhra Pradesh, striking employees, who were sitting on protest, had decided to continue work ahead of the tropical storm. The damage was less than what was estimated but the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had positioned 29 teams in rescue operations in Odisha, 19 teams in Andhra Pradesh and seven in West Bengal.
A NDMA spokesperson said “78,000 fishermen were not permitted to go to sea, which avoided any major casualty. We have given 10 kg rice to each fisherman as compensation.” At present, 1,073 assistance camps on Odisha and 135 in Andhra Pradesh were functioning.
Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik instructed officials to fulfil widespread relief and rehabilitation work to assist the affected people. Over 9 lakh people were migrated to secure places in the coastal districts of the state. The chief minister said, “The government’s successful attempts has resulted in lessened the loss of precious lives and I thank the officials for their dedication.”
According to initial assessment, around 80 lakh people have been affected by the cyclone in Odisha. 14,500 villages of 1,900 village councils in 99 blocks have supposedly been affected.