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In PHOTOS: Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

October 15, 2013 16:26 IST
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In PHOTOS: Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

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Relief and restoration work was stepped up on Tuesday in areas ravaged by twin calamity of Cyclone Phailin and resultant floods in Odisha, which affected over 1.2 crore people in more than 16,000 villages and claimed 26 lives. Of the 26, five people died in floods.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik made aerial survey of flood-hit Balasore, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts on Tuesday afternoon. Patnaik has decided not to celebrate his birthday on Wednesday view of the calamities, official sources said.

Describing the situation caused by sudden floods in five districts following cyclone induced heavy rains as "grave", Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said over 75,000 people were still marooned in flood-hit Balasore and Jajpur districts.

Cyclone and floods had affected around 1.2 crore people in 16,487 villages of 2009 gram panchayats and 43 urban local bodies spread over 148 blocks of the state, he said.

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Image: A girl runs home after receiving a free meal for breakfast at the cyclone-hit Gopalpur village, in Ganjam district in the eastern Indian state of Odisha
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

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While standing crops over 6,25,408 hectare area had been destroyed, 3,33,070 houses were damaged due to both the calamities, the minister said.

Stating that more than 9.9 lakh people had been evacuated ahead of the cyclone that made a landfall at Gopalpur in Gajnam district on Saturday night, Patro said 1,12,241 people were evacuated in flood-hit areas.

Though water level in the river Budhabalang was receding in Bahanaga, Aupada, Simulia, Nilagiri and Soro areas of Balasore district, the flood situation was still grim in Basta, Bhogarai, Jaleswar and Baliapal areas where river Subarnarekha was in spate.

The number of marooned persons has come down from over 2.5 lakh on Monday to around 75,000 - 68,000 in Balasore and 7,000 in Jajpur districts, Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said.

Air dropping of food packets was stopped in view of substantial wastage and relief materials were now being sent by boats to flood-hit areas, he said.

Patro said besides flooding many areas in Balasore, the Budhabalang had inundated 10 blocks in neighbouring Mayurbhanj district. Besides Baripada, the district headquarter town of Mayurbhanj, Betanati and Badasahi blocks had been severely hit in the floods.

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Image: A fisherman and his wife clear the debris from their damaged house in Gopalpur
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

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Stating that the cyclone had left a trail of destruction in the vast coastal belt, particularly in the worst-hit Ganjam, the minister said the south Odisha district was faced with severe power crisis and acute drinking water problem.

While electricity had been restored partially in six blocks of Ganjam, restoration would not be easy in the rest of the areas. The entire infrastructure would have to be rebuilt, he said.

Extensive damage had also been caused to power and water supply system in Brahmagiri and Krushnaprasad areas of Puri district and Daspalla area of Nayagarh district. Meanwhile, a team led by chairman of the Odisha Power

Transmission Corporation Ltd has left for Ganjam district for on the spot assessment of the situation before initiating concrete steps for restoration of electricity distribution, which in turn would ensure water supply.

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Image: Women carry pieces of a temporary roof to rebuild their houses after Cyclone Phailin hit Arjyapalli village, in Ganjam district
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

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Relief and rescue operation was now in full swing in Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Keonjhar districts which had also come under the surging flood waters as major rivers like Subarnarekha, Budhabalang, Baitarani and Jalaka were in spate, official sources said.

Teams from the army, navy and Indian Air Force besides the National Disaster Response Force and Orissa State Disaster Management Authority were deployed for rescue and relief operations in the flood-hit areas in the state.

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Image: A boy clears the debris from his damaged shop after Cyclone Phailin hit Arjyapalli village, in Ganjam
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Cyclone-hit Odisha slowly gets back on its feet

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Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central), Aravind Padhee camped in Balasore to monitor relief work. In Jajpur district, 102 villages under 34 gram panchayats of three blocks were affected by flood in river Baitarani, district Collector Anil Samal said.

As normalcy is returning in many cyclone affected areas of coastal Odisha, East Coast Railway has fully resumed its train services after the tracks have been cleared, a senior railway official said.


Image: A fisherman walks inside a damaged port building in Gopalpur
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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