The United Nations has praised the way the state government handled the situation arising out of Cyclone Phailin, said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) here.
“Odisha’s handling of the very severe cyclone will be a landmark success story in disaster management,” Margareta Wahlstrom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, said, according to the CMO here.
Wahlstrom spoke to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday over phone and appreciated the efforts made by the state government and others for effectively evacuating and protecting precious lives, it said.
The state government, which fixed the target of zero casualty during the cyclone, said it had evacuated 9,83,553 people from the Odisha coast before the cyclone struck. Naveen had expressed satisfaction over proper handling of the cyclone.
As many as 9,885 people had died in the 1999 super cyclone, but this time the casualty figure was confined to 21.
Of the 9.83 lakh people evacuated from the coastal regions, about 1.8 lakh were from Ganjam district, while over one lakh people each were shifted to safer places in Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts.
The Chief Minister has deputed three senior ministers to take charge of relief and restoration measures in cyclone and flood affected districts.
Panchayati Raj Minister Kalpataru Das has been assigned charge of the worst affected Ganjam district, while Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout would be in charge of Mayurbhanj. Agriculture Minister Debi Prasad Mishra has been deputed to flood-hit Balasore. Gridco chairman Hemant Sharma has also been stationed at Berhampur to monitor the relief and restoration work in Ganjam district.