Cyclone Yaas: How mangrove forest in Odisha acted as protective barrier against Nature's fury yet again?
Kendrapara (Odisha), May 26: The Cyclone Yaas that barrelled through coastal Odisha triggering damage of varying degrees spared Bhitarkanika National Park and adjoining hamlets in Kendrapara district with its luxuriant mangrove cover acting as a protective barrier against Nature's fury.
An official said that the mangrove forest has withstood the wind velocity of the cyclone yet again. The region has witnessed seven major cyclones in the past two decades including Yaas.
Each time, the cyclonic storm has not impacted the national park and the nearby human habitations, said Divisional Forest Officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division, Bikash Ranjan Dash. The villages on the periphery of the national park were saved as the mangrove cover acted as a buffer zone in protecting the human settlements, Dash said.
Because of the thick density of mangrove forest in Bhitarkanika, the flora and fauna of the park were unharmed due to the cyclone, he added.
Mangrove trees with their intricate root system stabilise the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides.
People in these parts have also realised the immense utility value of mangrove forest and are lending a helping hand to the forest department in conservation of this tidal woodland, the official said.
Cyclone Yaas, packing winds of up to 130-145 kmph, whiplashed the country's eastern coasts on Wednesday, dumping heavy rain, damaging houses and farmlands, and leaving at least four persons dead.