BHUBANESWAR: Cyclone Amphan caused extensive damage in several districts of Odisha as it hurtled along the State coast towards West Bengal on Wednesday morning.The north coastal districts of Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur were particularly affected even as a four-month-old baby was reported the only victim of the cyclone so far.
The son of one Balaram Das in Dakhinapuri Kanpada area under Thihidi block of Bhadrak district died after the wall of their kutcha house collapsed following heavy downpour, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena confirmed.
Jena said trees and electricity poles were uprooted disrupting road connectivity and power supply in many areas while thatched roofs of kutcha houses were also blown off in several places of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Ganjam, Bhadrak and Balasore districts.
The coastal parts of the State received heavy rainfall accompanied with strong storm winds with gale force reaching 120 kmph in Balasore and Bhadrak districts. There has been largescale damage to crops in the affected parts.
IG Fire Service and Civil Defence Asheet Kumar Panigrahi informed that 160 teams of fire fighters were deployed in six districts to carry out relief and rescue operations in the affected areas. Each team consisted of six personnel and was equipped with a powerboat, combi tools, power lights, power saw and cutters.
“The teams were deployed in Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Uprooted trees were cleared from roads in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur,” said Panigrahi.
The State Government has, meanwhile, asked the Collectors of the 12 coastal districts to submit preliminary damage assessment report within the next 48 hours. Stating that a thorough assessment of damage caused by the cyclone will be made, the SRC said there are reports of many trees being uprooted in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts.
Teams have been deployed in all the coastal districts to ensure quick restoration of power and road communication wherever they have been damaged.
He, however, maintained that there was no major damage to the telecommunication infrastructure and the services have remained by and large unaffected. As per preliminary reports of Energy department, 65 numbers of 33 KV feeders have been affected in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Jagatsinghpur and Ganjam districts. Post disaster road clearance has already started in Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and other areas by NDRF, ODRAF, Fire Service and Odisha Forest Development Corporation.
Collateral damage for Odisha
Thirty-six teams of NDRF and ODRAF have been deployed in the 12 coastal districts which were put on alert. Ten teams were deployed in Balasore, seven in Bhadrak, six in Kendrapara and five in Jagatsinghpur. Over 250 teams of fire service and 100 units of OFDC have also been deployed. The SRC stated that more than 1.62 lakh people from low lying and vulnerable areas of the coastal region living in thatched and mud houses were evacuated and shifted to cyclone shelters by Wednesday morning. The people have been accommodated in 2,921 shelters where cooked food and other facilities are being provided. They will start returning from Thursday.