HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Cyclone Phailin: no catch since 5 days, fishermen pine for sea

Arpit Basu, Hindustan Times  Ramayapattnam(Gopalpur), October 13, 2013
First Published: 22:55 IST(13/10/2013) | Last Updated: 23:02 IST(13/10/2013)

Fisherman S Shankar felt angry when officials stopped him from venturing into the sea on Sunday evening.


“The sea looked calm enough. Why are they not letting me to go,” he asked.

The lone bread winner for a family of five, Shankar said he goes fishing in his small diesel boat at dawn everyday and returns in the evening, earning Rs. 200-300 a day.

He has been putting up at a cyclone shelter along with his wife, two sons and a daughter, likes scores of fishermen families in his village, after lakhs of people living in the path of cyclone Phailin were evacuated to safer places.

“I came straight from the shelter and had bought a net along. I have not earned a single rupee during the past five days,” he said.

There are at least 2,000 fishermen in nearby villages in Gopalpur who sell their catch at a local market every day. Shankar said he is lucky that his boat survived the monster storm, but scores of fishermen along the coastal areas have not been as fortunate. Many of them have lost their dwellings too.

Fishermen in coastal districts of Odisha have been advised not to venture into sea, even after the very severe cyclonic storm Phailin made landfall in Gopalpur on Saturday night and waned in strength considerably since then.

The officials have been enforcing the advisory strictly, especially after 18 fishermen of Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu were feared missing in Odisha early in the day. They had been trapped in a trawler near Paradip ahead of cyclone Phailin. The men jumped from the trawler and swam to safety at Ersama in Jagatsinghpur district.

more from Phailin, eye of the storm

This time from sarpanch to state minister, all were in Phailin duty: Naveen Patnaik

Choosing not to celebrate his birthday, Naveen Patnaik was holding rehabilitation and relief meetings with senior officials with focus on restoring electricity in the worst-affected Ganjam district. He spoke to Shishir Gupta in an exclusive interview in Bhubhaneshwar.

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