Day before PM Modi’s visit, Odisha says 45 lakh people affected by Amphan
Unofficially, three deaths have been reported in Odisha including one of a 2-month-old infant in Bhadrak district due to wall collapse. In Bengal, 72 people were killed by the cycloneUpdated: May 21, 2020 21:30 IST
A day after it barely escaped from the full fury of super cyclone Amphan that battered neighbouring West Bengal, Odisha informed the Centre that 45 lakh people in 1,500 villages were affected by the storm.
At a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) which reviewed the situation in the cyclone affected areas of Odisha and West Bengal on Thursday,Odisha chief secretary Asit Tripathy who attended through video-conferencing, told Union cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba said apart from bringing heavy rain and winds peaking up to 100 km per hour in some coastal areas, there was no loss of lives.
“Around 44.8 lakh people in 1,500 grampanchayats were affected by cyclone Amphan,” Tripathy said at the NCMC meeting.
Unofficially, three deaths have been reported in Odisha including one of a 2-month-old infant in Bhadrak district due to wall collapse. In Bengal, 72 people were killed by the cyclone.
“Nearly two lakh people in Odisha were evacuated from their homes and placed safely in different shelters during the cyclone. A total of 210 medical teams and 75 teams of veterinary doctors have been sent to the affected areas,” Tripathy said, adding that collectors of the affected districts have been asked to submit the cyclone-damage report in two days.
Late evening Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office announced that he would carry out aerial surveys of West Bengal and Odisha to assess the damage wreaked by the storm.
“My thoughts are with the people of Odisha as the state bravely battles the effects of Cyclone Amphan. Authorities are working on the ground to ensure all possible assistance to the those affected. I pray that the situation normalises at the earliest,” PM Modi had tweeted earlier in the day.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik made an aerial survey of the affected areas of the coastal and its adjoining districts that faced the fury of Amphan.
Though Odisha did not see as much damage as Bengal faced, the 100-kmph velocity winds led to uprooting of a large number of trees and flattening of kutcha houses in Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Balasore districts. Vehicular movement came to a standstill while power supply snapped due to uprooting of electric poles.
Odisha energy minister Dibya Shankar Mishra said over 80 per cent of the 44 lakh consumers would get back power soon.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) director general SN Pradhan said within 24-48 hours, all roads in the cyclone-hit districts would be cleared.
The state government meanwhile showered praises on the India Meteorological Department (IMD) saying its accurate weather forecast caused minimal damage in the state. Thanking IMD’s Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra for accurate predictions, chief secretary Tripathy said the correct forecast of the natural calamity is a great advantage to contain the damage to life and property,
“The IMD is valuable in this area and its forecast is getting better with time. “We thank Mohapatra, NDRF DG S N Pradhan and everyone in this valuable national body,” he said.
Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Special Relief Commissioner P K Jena too thanked Mohapatra for re-assuring the state government to have complete faith in IMD’s prediction and forecast on cyclone ‘Amphan’.