Preliminary assessment report showed the district had lost over 5,000 sal, teak, eucalyptus and chakunda varieties of trees in Gupteswar, Boipariguda, Semiliguda and Narayanpatna forest ranges during the cyclone. Roadside trees and those on school and office premises also bore the brunt of the cyclone.
Officials said Ramagiri under Gupteswar forest range was the worst hit as decade-old sal and teak trees came crashing down with strong winds blowing at 90 to 100 kmph. "Around 629 trees were uprooted in the forest range. Preliminary assessment puts the loss at Rs 1 crore," Divisional Forest Officer (Jeypore) Bijaya Kumar Acharya said. While Pottangi and Nandapur lost over 1,500 trees, around 500 trees were uprooted in forests of Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon areas.
"Eucalyptus trees were damaged at Pottangi and Nandapur, while valuable teak and sal were lost in Narayanpatna forests," said a forest officer. The forest department has a daunting task of removing the fallen trees. "At several places, villagers are cutting the trees and taking the logs home.
Timber mafias are also eyeing the uprooted sal and teak. We are not able to restrict the villagers because of staff shortage. Efforts are on to remove the uprooted trees from forest areas at the earliest," Acharya said. Patrolling parties have been formed to guard the trees, he added.