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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Dec 2014

Over 2,000 rescued so far after cyclone: NDRF

PTI  New Delhi, October 14, 2013
First Published: 20:43 IST(14/10/2013) | Last Updated: 20:50 IST(14/10/2013)

More than 2,000 people, trapped in various places after cyclone Phailin ravaged the east coast, were rescued and 777 km of roads were cleared by National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).

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"A total of 2,049 people have been rescued so far by NDRF - 993 in Odisha and 1,056 in Andhra Pradesh - after the cyclone struck," NDRF chief Krishna Chowdhary told reporters here today.

NDRF works at the initial phase of rescue, relief and restoration operations and after that the state administration takes over.

"Our forces are still deployed in both the states, bringing relief and succour to people," he said.

The NDRF team has so far cleared 651 km of roads in Odisha and 126 km in Andhra Pradesh.

"Our team is still working hard clearing roads, removing debris from damaged buildings and cutting and removing fallen electric poles and trees. Before people wake up, our team had paved the way for their movement," he said.

So far, debris have been removed from 26 buildings in Odisha, where the storm struck first. Chowdhary said over 700 trees have been cut or removed in Odisha while in Andhra Pradesh the figure stood at 1,381.

Powerful cyclone Phailin, the worst since the disastrous super-cyclone of 1999, pounded the Odisha coast Saturday night plunging vast swathes of coastal districts in the state into darkness as it felled trees and electric poles in its trail.

Places like Ganjam, where Gopalpur-on-Sea was the entry point for the storm, bore a massive brunt of the calamity that forced evacuation of more than half a million people from vulnerable areas in both the states in one of the biggest such exercises.

NDRF has said its work has generated "a tremendous degree of confidence" in the people post the calamity.

"We made roads negotiable and motorable, brought medical assistance, evacuated marooned people. We also received co-ordination from people," he said.

Over 3,000 personnel have been deployed in both the states with 29 teams in Odisha and 15 in Andhra Pradesh.


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more from Phailin, eye of the storm

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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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