Inland Odisha villages too hit by cyclone; crops lost

Odisha storm
Gajapati (Orissa), Oct 15: Much has been written about cyclone Phailin's devastation in coastal Odisha, but equally destructive has been the storm in some inland areas, which are suffering beyond the pale of media coverage.

The damage to livelihood and property is not any less than that witnessed in the areas close to the coastline. These regions now have requested the state government to allow them to spend money on constructing cemented cyclone relief centres which are an essential public infrastructure in coastal areas of Odisha.

The Gajapati district is right on the border with Andhra Pradesh along the National Highway 5, with the Srikakulam district of the Telugu-speaking state just two kilometers from the district headquarters here.

More than 15,000 houses and many acres of farming fields in this district have been destroyed by the strong winds and rains that were brought about by the impact of the cyclone. All the 2,042 villages in this area have been affected by the cyclonic storm that damaged houses and paddy fields.

"More than 15,000 houses have been damaged here although this district has no coastline. There is no loss of life, but livestock have been killed and there is an extensive damage to the electricity supply system. The strong winds brought the maximum damage," Gajapati Deputy Collector B K Hota said.

An assessment exercise is on to tabulate the total damage, said Hota, who is also in-charge of the disaster and calamity cell. 


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