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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Phailin dumps rain and misery on UP, Bihar

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Varanasi/Patna, October 15, 2013
First Published: 21:56 IST(15/10/2013) | Last Updated: 22:00 IST(15/10/2013)

The remnants of Cyclone Phailin dumped misery on Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, lashing the two states with heavy rains and high-velocity winds and leaving several people dead and injured.

In Jharkhand, too, one girl is reported to have died in cyclone-induced rain and thundershowers.

However, these states were spared of the kind of devastation witnessed in Odisha where the cyclone made landfall on Saturday killing, 21 people and 5 more in the subsequent floods.

In Uttar Pradesh, at least 10 persons have died in different places in the past two days.

Four persons were reported to have died due to rains and thunderstorm in Ghazipur. In Mau, a shopkeeper was killed while a child suffered injuries after a tree fell on a shop in Kopaganj area of the district. Another person also was killed there in a rain-related incident.

One person each was killed in Azamgarh and Bhadohi due to falling of a tree and collapsing of a house respectively. In Ballia, two persons were killed in two separate incidents, government officials said.

Light to heavy rain induced by cyclone Phailin continued on the third consecutive day in Varanasi on Tuesday.

Dilapidated structures further weakened by rains collapsed in Chowk and Chaubeypur areas in Kashi. Four persons were injured in similar incidents in Mirzapur.

Power supply was hit in several areas when electric poles collapsed after trees fell on high-tension wires, leading to disruption in road traffic. The rain has also proved to be a bane for farmers of the region with standing paddy crops flattened by rains and thunderstorm.

The steady rains have become a cause for concern for the Muslims who are busy preparing for Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid) on Wednesday.

In Bihar, heavy rains and high velocity winds triggered by cyclone Phailin killed two children and an equal number of women in Vaishali district of Bihar, though unconfirmed reports put the death toll at eight.

The deaths were caused by collapsed houses and falling trees, disaster management department officials said, while the Met department forecasted heavy rains will continue for the next 24 hours.

Reports of widespread destruction of trees, crops and electricity supply lines have poured in from Purnia, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Samastipur Madhepura and other districts. Adding to the troubles piled up by Phailin, Nepal has released huge quantities of water from its Bhimnagar barrage into Kosi river, posing threat to Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura and Purnia districts of Bihar if rains continue in the Himalayan country.

Odisha meanwhile continues to reel under the aftermath of Phailin, with Ganjam officially declared as the worst hit in terms of losses, estimated at R3,000 crore. More than 2.4 lakh houses have been damaged, Ganjam district collector Krishan Kumar said.

Revenue and disaster management minister SN Patro said more than 75,000 people were still marooned in flood-hit Balasore and Jajpur districts.

Looking at the extent of the damages, the Centre has said it would relax provisions in the flagship rural job scheme, MNREGA, to speed up reconstruction work in the state. Food ministry sent a team of officers to coordinate with the state government food distribution in the cyclone-hit areas.

More than 1.2 crore people have been affected by Phailin in 16,000 villages of the state. While 21 people were killed because of collapsing huts and trees, five more died in floods, a tiny number compared to 9,000 deaths in 1999 super cyclone. This time accurate predictions and timely evacuation of nearly a million people prevented heavy casualties.


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