Bhubaneswar, 15th October: Odisha is now under the spell of both the cyclone and flood. The emergency situation arising out of both these calamities has been kept under control because of timely action for evacuation and relief operations. The human causality caused by cyclone have been minimized to 21 and the same caused by flood minimized to 5.
The relief teams along with ODRAF, NDRF, Army and Naval teams are in relief and restoration operation. The Minister Revenue & Disaster Management reviewed the latest situation in a high level meeting today in secretariat conference hall. Reviewing the situation the Minister Sri Patro and Chief Secretary Sri Jugal Kishore Mohapatra have directed the relief and rescue teams to reach each and every marooned village and provide adequate relief, medicine and all other necessary assistance. Sufficient number of power boats have been deployed in the operation. Air dropping has been stopped as road and boat communication has been established to all the affected areas.
Review reveals that flood situation which arose in 5 districts because of heavy rainfall during cyclone and in upper streams of the rivers of Budhabalnaga, Baitarani and Subrnarekha have been kept under control. The water has started receding back in Budhbalanga and Baitarani; and, it is expected that situation will further improve by today evening.
But because of the heavy discharge of water from Jharkhand and slow release of water to the sea due to ensuing full moon, the flood situation in Balasore district is expected to propel for 3 to 4 days. Around 184 GPs , 930 villages and more than 7 lakh people have been affected in Balasore district because of flood. Near about 68,000 people have been taken to safe places from flood affected areas of this district.
In 1st phase of the flood, the blocks like Bhogarai, Jaleswar , Basta, Dhamanagar, Remuna, Balasore Sadar and Bhndaripokhari were inundated. It is expected that Chandbali will get inundated because of slow release of water to sea and nearness of the place to the sea.
The first hand information available shows that the recent disaster of both the cyclone and flood have affected 148 blocks, 2009 GPs, 16487 villages and 43 urban local bodies. Around 1,19,03,654 people have been affected and crop loss has taken place in around 6,25,408 hectors. Till now 3,33,070 dwelling houses have been reported damaged. The cattle causality reported by now is 313 large animals, 419 small animals and 6,240 birds.
Timely action for warning the people and carrying on evacuation form low lying vulnerable areas has minimized human causality. A total number of 10,95,794 persons have been evacuated to safe places which is said to be ever largest evacuation in the country. Out of this 9,83,553 persons were taken to safe shelter before cyclone and 1,12,241 before flood. For flood, maximum number (i.e. 68,000) of people have been taken to safe shelter in Balasore. For cyclone, maximum number of people (i.e. more than 1, 20,000) were taken to safe places in the district of Ganjam. More than 31,000 domestic animals were also taken to safe places.
The Minister Sri Patro emphasized on quick implementation of the special relief package announced by Chief Minister Sri Naveen Patnaik. The package envisages that the families in severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for 14 days i.e.50 kgs of rice and Rs.500/-. Similarly, the families in less affected areas will get food assistance for 7 days i.e. 25 kgs of rice and Rs.300/-
Chief Secretary Sri Mohapatra has directed SRC, the respective Departments and Collectors to prioritize works like making estimation of additional requirement of relief materials, reaching to each and every marooned place, restoration of water supply, restoration of power supply, assessment of damages, dissemination of information regarding damage and restoration by concerned departments through their websites, quick restoration of damages in educational institutions so that they can be opened just after the Puja holidays, preparation of reconstruction plan with definite work schedule, housing provisions for fishermen living within 5 kms distance of seashore, public health and sanitation in affected areas and planning for ensuing Rabi crop.
The works Secretary Sri N.K. Pradhan informed that all National High ways, State Highways and major roads connecting all district and block head quarters have been opened up and regular communication have been restored to these places. Minister Sri Patro has directed to open up all village and Panchayat roads. Principal Secretary Rural development Sri C.J. Venugopal said that tube wells, wells and water sources in all the affected areas have been disinfected.
The department has been directed to arrange generators in all the pipe water supply systems and resume water supply. Energy Secretary Sri Pradeep Kumar Jena informed that power supply has been restored in many areas. It will be restored in other affected areas very shortly. But, because of severe damage to grids and distribution systems in Ganjam and Berhampur, it will need fresh laying of the infrastructure which will require more time.
However, Sri Jena has assured that steps are being taken to restore the power supply to some parts through alternative ways and means. The Rural Development and Health & Family Welfare Department have been directed to intensify the public health, sanitation and clinical care in affected areas. The Health Department has also been asked to organize mobile health units and health camps.
Development Commissioner Sri Injeti Srinivas, Additional Chief Secretray to Chief minister Sri A.P. Padhi, Addl. Chief Secretary, Revenue and Disaster management Dr. Taradatt, Additional DG, Police Sri Sanjeeb Kumar Marik, , Principal Secretary Home, Sri Vipin Saxena, Principal Secretary Water Resources Sri Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Special Relief Commissioner Sri Pradeepta Kumar Mohapatra, the senior officers of Army, Naval, NDRF, ODRAF along with Secretaries of respective Departments and senior officers participated in the discussion.