Odisha still remains one of the poorest states in India with about 40% people living below the poverty line. Over a fifth of the population is tribal. About 40% of the people living in rural areas live in one room kutcha houses making them highly vulnerable to natural disasters like Cyclone Fani.
As per information from Indian Meteoroligcal Department (IMD), the ‘Extremely Severe’ Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ crossed Odisha coast close to Puri between 0800 to 1000 hrs on 3 May 2019. As ascertained by Director, IMD, Bhubaneswar the maximum wind speed at Puri was around 175 kmph. The Capital city of Bhubaneswar also experienced high wind with heavy rainfall. 12 people lost their lives in the state. Communications, road transportation and power supply have been thrown into disarray as large parts of state get paralyzed. The cyclone has indeed left behind a trail of destruction.
Relief operations are underway and involved agencies are on ground, trying to clear blocks on roads to reach the interiors. Communication networks are all down, including all regional TV channels, there is lack of electricity and clean drinking water.
Here is a quick update on the actions being taken up by the government on ground:
- 11,59,439 Persons in 18 districts and one ULB evacuated and sheltered in 6564 cyclone shelters. Free kitchen started for them.
- 24,889 numbers of tourists have been safely evacuated from Puri, Ganjam, Cuttack and Balasore districts.
- Nearly 4.5 lakh polythene sheets (temporary shelter materials) have been prepositioned in district/ sub-district levels and 1.5 lakh kept in buffer stock at state HQRS.
- 1 lakh of food packets have been prepared and kept ready for air dropping, if required.
- Cyclone related alert and action suggested have been delivered through Location Based Alert System (LBAS) SMS to 1.8 crore nos. of subscribers of the likely to be affected districts.
- Cyclone warning has been disseminated through siren towers installed in the coastal areas under EWDS project.
- 55 satellite phones have been provided to Districts, response forces and senior officials at state HQRS for emergency communication. 14 more satellite phone provided to coastal district under EWDS project.
- Preparedness videos, safety tips have been broadcasted in major TV channels
- Safety & preparedness voice messages were broadcasted through FM and community radios.
- Cutters with manpower of Odisha Forest Development Corporation kept ready for immediate deployment in the cyclone affected areas for clearance of roads.
- Fire Service in all the districts are in readiness for immediate response.
- Request has been made to IG, NDRF, New Delhi for additional 20 NDRF teams from the neighbouring NDRF battalions for deployment to affected areas. As reported by NDRF, 10 Teams have already moved to Odisha.
Save the Children has categorized the damage and FANI response as Category 3. Our teams of trained humanitarian response personnel is moving swiftly and conducting a rapid needs assessment and preparing to address the needs of the worst-affected people. We are ready to mount a chid-centric relief response. But we cannot do this without your support.
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