Phailin hits 90 lakh people, destroys crops worth Rs 2,400 cr
Cyclonic storm Phailin, which crossed the south Odisha coast on Saturday night, caused widespread damage to infrastructure and crops in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. At least 23 people have been reported dead so far.
The cyclone, which brought heavy rain and strong winds with speed reaching up to 200 km an hour, left a trail of destruction in the district bordering Odisha.
Rescue and relief officials were sent to Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts where the flood water of the Budha Balanga and Baitarani rivers devastated homes, submerged thousands of acres of standing paddy crops, Surya Narayan Patro, Odisha's revenue and disaster management minister, told a news agency.
Many other districts also face the fear of flooding as water level in other rivers were rising, he said.
Flood water entered into Baripada town, the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj Sunday and inundated hundreds of houses. Many houses were under five-six feet of water and the residents took shelter on the roof top.
"Almost half of the town is under water. 3,000 people have been evacuated" Mayurbhanj district collector Patil Rajesh Pravakar told IANS.
Large swathe of agricultural lands and houses located in the low laying areas were also submerged in Balasore district.
"We have dispatched rescue and relief team to the area," a senior official of the state revenue department said here.
Andhra Pradesh was spared the fury as cyclonic storm Phailin crossed the east coast Saturday night without any major loss of lives but damaged infrastructure and crops in Srikakulam district.
Communication towers were also damaged in large numbers while fallen trees on the roads cut off access to many towns and villages. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the national highway connecting Srikakulam to Odisha.
National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and the district administration swung into action to provide relief in the affected areas.
Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts remained largely unaffected.
Meanwhile, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, “We have been successful in minimising the loss of lives. Now rehabilitation is a very big challenge for us as property worth several crores of rupees has been destroyed. I will see to it that the people are actively rehabilitated,” Patnaik said.
“We have successfully evacuated nine lakh people. This is one of the largest evacuation operations to have taken place in the country,” added Patnaik.
The number of houses that were destroyed
Number of people who have been evacuated