One dead as Odisha braces for Cyclone Phailin

The woman identified as Jayanti Raut (42) died after a tree fell on her in the morning amid gusty winds, while she was plucking flowers near her house, said special relief commissioner P K Mohapatra.

"18 fishermen were reported trapped around 4km from Paradip in the sea on a fishing trawler. Though they contacted the Coast Guard, rescue operations could not be conducted as the sea is extremely rough.

"We have contacted the authorities of IOC and have sought help from their rescue team," said state revenue and disaster minister S N Patro. Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central Division) Arvind Padhee has been asked to coordinate rescue operations of these trapped fishermen and "we have asked the police to trace the owner of the trawler and arrest him," Patro said.

More than 3.61 lakh people have already been evacuated from the six coastal districts of Odisha. 1.2 lakh people have been shifted from the coastal belt of Ganjam and Gopalpur areas, Mohapatra said. Reports from Puri said that sea water gushed into Tandaghar and Keutajanga villages of Astarang and Brahmagiri blocks in the district last evening, even as the administration shifted people to safer places.

Though the district administration evacuated around 45,000 people from the coast to safe places, a large number of fishermen, who were shifted from Chandrabhaga and Konark, returned. "It was a major cause of concern for us," an official engaged in evacuation operation said. 

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