State Government carried off a mammoth task of evacuation before Cyclone Fani struck Odisha, but the condition of the interior areas is far worse than predicted.
Cyclone Fani, the strongest tropical cyclone, stuck Odisha on May 3. With the wind speed of 200 kmph, the cyclone left a trail of destruction to life and property in many parts of the state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured continuous support from the Central government. The Odisha government took commendable measures to curb the humongous destruction before and after the cyclone. With an evacuation process involving 45,000 volunteers, the state executed the biggest human evacuation process. A record of 1.2 million people was evacuated in 24 hours. But looking at the existing chaos raises questions on the relief operation planning of the government.
“We are at the Mangalpur Primary school, Sukinda Block, Jajpur. People who live in the mud houses and thatched houses took shelter here as it was a safer place”, said Community Correspondent Bishawanaath, who reported about this grim situation from Jajpur.
The aftermath of the cyclone Fani took the death toll to 64 in parts of Puri, Cuttack, Mayurbanj, and Jajpur. Lakhs of trees were uprooted, blocking roads, breaking homes and damaging public infrastructure. At least 14 million people were affected by the cyclone. The state suffered damage worth of 1,200 crores to its power supply network.
“Fani blew away the roof and the wall has fallen down. The thatched shades and its beam were also blown away. We live in a dilapidated condition”, said Kavita Samal from Sainto village.
On May 5, Odisha State Government announced financial assistance and relief packages for affected families. Families covered under the National Food Security Act are supposed to get 50 kg of rice, Rs 2,000 and polythene sheets. Houses damaged due to cyclone will be constructed under housing schemes. Our Community Correspondent asked people who took shelter in the school if they received any government aid or food supplies. In response, they said that they haven’t been provided any food and water yet. “There has been no cooperation from the administration even after the Tahsildar visited us”, said Tupus Nayak.
Looking at the massive disruption this cyclone has caused, it requires the government to be more sensitive and to respond promptly to the affected people post-Fani.
Video by Community Correspondent Ashok Kumar and Bishwanaath.
Article by Grace Jolliffe, a Member of VV Editorial Team.