Bhubaneswar (Odisha): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said all possible efforts are being made to provide people with basic necessities like food, electricity, and restoration of communication after the cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ made landfall in the state on May 3.
Extensive damage to telecommunications and power infrastructure was reported from Puri, Bhubaneshwar and other parts of Odisha when the storm with wind speed reaching up to 175kmph hit the state.
Briefing media here on Saturday, Patnaik said Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to him over the phone and discussed the situation in the aftermath of the cyclone.
“People in cyclone shelters will be provided cooked food for next 15 days and electricity and drinking water is being worked on war footing so that it is supplied to people very soon. Condition is bad. Prime Minister spoke to me. We are working very hard to restore communication too,” he mentioned.
Meanwhile, Special Relief Commissioner (Odisha) Bishnupada Sethi said the cyclone period has come to end, but left behind a trail of destruction in Puri, Bhubaneswar, and other places. “As we get reports from the district, we see that most of the kutcha houses and old pucca houses have been blown away by the storm in Puri district,” he said.
Sethi said those who sustained injuries are being treated in Puri, adding that there has been an enormous loss of livestock and assets.
“Rabi crops, horticulture orchards, coconut trees have been destroyed. There has been a great loss of livestock and other assets of people. Certain numbers of people have been injured and are treated in Puri. The high transmission line, LT lines have been damaged,” he told reporters here.
Sethi further said the concerned administration has taken up the matter of restoration of telecommunication with the Centre and the work is being done.
“Mobile and telecommunication have been disrupted to a great extent. There was loss of road connectivity for some time; it has been restored in full now. The hospital services have been functioning well. We are also getting support from all corners. We have instructed District Collectors that whoever is in Relief Centers and would like to continue to be there due to damage to houses, can continue for 15 days,” he said.
The National Crisis Management Committee met in Delhi on Saturday and reviewed the rescue and relief measures being carried out in Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. It was felt that due to timely measures and large scale evacuation of people to safety shelters, loss of human lives was minimal.
Earlier, Patnaik said the death toll was only in single digit but did not give the exact figure. He said a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours and called it one of the biggest human evacuations in history.
A total of 3.2 lakh people from Gunjam district and 1.3 lakh from Puri were evacuated.