KORAPUT: A day after Hud Hud crossed Koraput, the cyclone ravaged district remained cut off from rest of the world.
Uprooted trees lay scattered at nook and cranny and at least 200 persons have been injured either due to falling of trees or squally wind.
Thousands have been rendered homeless and properties worth over `500 crore damaged. Preliminary reports revealed that around two lakh people of Potangi, Nandapur, Bandhugam, Narayanpatna and Boipariguda blocks have been affected.
Over 5000 electricity towers and 10,000 trees have been uprooted in the gale in the last 24 hours blocking both State and National highways passing through the district. Power supply is yet to be restored.
According to the latest official reports, 10,000 houses in Potangi, 7,000 in Boipariguda, 2,000 in Narayanpatna, 1,000 in Bandhugam, 3,000 in Nandapur and 2,000 in Lamtaput have suffered damage. In Jeypore sub-division, the number stands at 5,000. Pottangi block has suffered the most.
Vegetable crops in over 5000 acres of land in Pottangi, Nandapur, Semiliguda and Lamtaput have been submerged in rain water.
With rain subsiding, around 67,000 people who were put up in 354 relief centres by the district administration returned to their houses on Monday.
As many as 2000 fire fighters, 200 personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been working round the clock to clear the roads and provide relief to people. Road clearance is given top priority.
NDRF team leader DK Pandey said 20 vital roads have been cleared and work is on to remove debris from the Boipariguda-Malkangiri road.
Health officials said special health teams have been sent to Pottangi and other affected blocks for providing medical aid to people. Sufficient anti-venom has been stocked.
Meanwhile, 500 Southco staff have been pressed into service to restore power supply in the district. Sources in the distcom said since the extent of damage to cables and electricity tower is very high, it might take them around 10 days to restore power supply. “We would give priority to town areas first and subsequently, power would be restored in rural parts,” said Executive Engineer of Southco, Koraput, RK Mishra.
Collector Yamini Sarangi said the administration will first provide shelter to those who lost their houses in the calamity and restore road communication network. “Assessment of house and crop damage is on,” she added.
Bus and train communication continues to remain affected. Transport officials informed that buses would ply only after the roads are cleared. The district got about 300 mm rainfall since Sunday.