National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) vice-chairman M Shashidhar Reddy said as per preliminary reports, situation in Gopalpur in Odisha's Ganjam district appeared to be encouraging and the wind-speed has come down significantly and the National Disaster Response Force was trying to asses the damage there.
"Wind speed in Gopalpur where the eye of the cyclone passed through has come down to 90-100 kmph at 8 am. We are still trying to assess the devastation caused by the disaster," he told PTI here. According to M Mohapatra, Scientist (Cyclone Warning) with the IMD, by 5.30 am on Sunday morning the cyclone started showing signs of weakening with the wind speed reducing to 160-170 kmph. He however, added that it is still a "very severe cyclonic storm".
Powerful cyclone Phailin, the worst since the disastrous super-cyclone of 1999, pounded the Odisha coast with wind speeds of over 200 kmph last night. Reddy said the wind-speed at neighbouring Berhampur, which is around 20 kms away from Gopalpur, was around 70-80 kmph at 8 am today.
"There are reports of trees, electric posts, telephone towers being uprooted and 'kutcha' houses being damaged in Ganjam and Berhampur districts. Communication lines were also disrupted.
"So far there are no report of any casualties. But we will get detailed information only after the NDRF teams make proper assessment of the devastation caused by the cyclone," he said. As 90-95 per cent population in Gopalpur were evacuated, the authorities were expecting reduced damage, Reddy said.