'Bulbul' claims 2 lives in Odisha, extensive damage to crops
Heavy rain and high-velocity winds triggered by cyclone 'Bulbul' claimed at least two lives and wreaked havoc in most parts of coastal Odisha, officials said on Sunday. A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel was seriously injured during restoration operation in Bhadrak district, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Shyama Bhakta Mishra said.
The cyclone also caused extensive damage to crops in the coastal districts, leaving farmers in the lurch, the officials said. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is scheduled to make an aerial survey of the affected districts on Monday afternoon, an official said.
Patnaik will review damage caused by the calamity and restoration measures undertaken thereafter, he said. Though the cyclone skipped Odisha and made landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on Saturday, heavy downpour and gale-force winds left a trail of destruction, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and affecting telecom towers in the state, they said.
While the death of an elderly man was reported earlier owing to wall collapse in Kendrapara on Saturday, another casualty due to drowning came to light on Sunday in the Mahakalapada area of the district, a senior official said. Manoranjan Prasad, who headed an NDRF unit, was busy clearing uprooted trees in Basuvedpur area when an electric pole fell on him, Mishra said.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital and then shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. "#CycloneBulbul - Personally sad that Manoranjan - a colleague of #NDRFamily got serious head/spine injury from falling electric pole while clearing fallen trees @Bhadrak.
Pls #Pray4Manoranjan. He needs&deserves it," NDRF Director General Satyanarayan Pradhan said in a tweet. The authorities had put in place elaborate arrangements to deal with the impact of the cyclonic storm in over 10 of Odisha's 30 districts.
Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts bore the maximum brunt and suffered extensive damage to crops, the senior official said. Around 40 per cent standing crops and over six lakh hectares of cultivable land spread over five districts have been damaged due to rain and strong winds triggered by 'Bulbul', Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena.
Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central) Anil Samal, who visited several parts of Bhadrak district, said standing crops in Chabdbali, Dhamra and Basudevpur areas suffered major damage. As per initial reports, about 5,500 houses have been damaged and a detailed assessment will be done within a week, Jena said.
Power supply has been restored in most affected areas, and the task is expected to be completed by November 12, the officials said, adding, all the roads have been cleared of uprooted trees. As many as 20 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), six units of the NDRF and 226 fire services teams were pressed into service in the restoration operation, they added.
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