Phailin Cyclone In Odisha Essay Contest

Before the Cyclone

This article contains information and facts of Cyclone Phailin in Orisha (Orissa).

Landfall: Cyclone Phailin hit on October 12, 2013 near Gopalpur in Odisha at the speed of 200 KMPH and triggered heavy rainfall and strong wind.

High Alert: The Weather Department had issued high alert for the coastal regions of districts of Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Jajpur, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam.

Swift Response: The state government cancelled the Dusshera holiday requested the officials to stay on high alert and to assist the rescue operations. More than 5 lakh civilians from coastal regions of Orissa were evacuated. Civilians were evacuated for the coastal regions of Ganjam,  Jagatsinghapur, Puri and other districts in Odisha.

Food: Over one lakh food packets were kept handy for supply during the rescue and relief activities.

Forces: NRDF forces, Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force, police, press and civilians all came together to minimize the impact of Phailin Cyclone.

Cyclone Phailin aftermath

The Cyclone Phailin and the resultant flood has caused severe damage. The large evacuation of more than 9 lakh people had kept the death toll at minimum.

Unity: The Chief Minister of Orissa have thanked to officials on duty, press, and civilians for kind of unity shown by them during the emergency situation.

Death: Atleast 36 people have been killed as a result of the deadly cyclone. (Last updated: October 17, 2013)

School: Mort than 5000 schools have been damaged. The estimated value of the loss is over 2500 million rupees. ( Last updated: October 17, 2013)

Trees: Around 26 lakh trees have been damaged. ( Last updated: October 20, 2013)

Houses: More than 3 lakh houses have been partially or completely damaged. (Last updated: October 17, 2013)

People affected: Around 20 million people living across more than 16000 villages have been affected. (Last updated: October 17, 2013)

Power: Around 30,000 km of electric line have been destroyed. Thousands of electric poles, grid houses and transformers have been destroyed.  Power supply was restored in Behrampur Hospital and MKCG medical college on 16th October, 2013. The damage is extensive and it would take some time to completely restore the power supply.( Last updated: October 16, 2013)

Ganjam: The situation in Ganjam district is still very poor. 13,000 km of electric line got damaged in Ganjam alone.

Relief work: After the cyclone, the Rescue Team have started relief operation at Behrampur, Gopalpur and other affected districts of Orissa.

Rehabilitation: The rehabilitation of lakhs of people who have lost their home and livelihood is a major challenge. It would take much effort and time to bring back the situation to normalcy.

Praise: The World Bank has praised the Odisha State Disaster Management authority and the Odisha Government for their evacuation effort. The press around the world has also praised the Orissan Authorities.

( Last updated: 29th October, 2013)

Category: Important IndiaTagged With: Cyclone Phailin (Articles and Essays)

Much well-deserved praise has been heaped upon Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and his government's bureaucrats for a crisis handled exceedingly well, with casualties from Phailin minimised and rehabilitation efforts already initiated.

Much of this success has been attributed to learnings from the catastrophe of the 1999 Odisha cyclone. But if that disaster was a lesson for the local administration, it's perhaps all the more reason that this weekend's tremendously successful preventive evacuation and other efforts by the same state government be taken not as a model template but as an important milestone on the learning curve, not as a congratulatory note to the Naveen Patnaik government but as an indicator of what other successes may be achieved in future disasters.

Relief material has begun to be distributed. PTI

This time, the Met department had what will be a very satisfying victory in a duel of sorts with experts from international agencies who had predicted a supercyclone that would bring as much destruction as Katrina did. Others pitched in too -- warnings were issued on time, were heeded by the first responders at village levels and local government agencies.

An editorial in The Times of India points out that such an effort was clearly missing in the wake of July's Uttarakhand disaster.

A well-coordinated plan worked effectively, the editorial says, pointing to another lesson well learnt, one that other state governments would do well to replicate. "It pays to ensure that disaster management staff are trained in advance and acquire sufficient and necessary skills to tackle emergencies."

Clearly, in the aftermath of 1999, Odisha has learnt several critical lessons on disaster management -- the floods of 2011 saw about 100 casualties but it was clear even then that small steps had been taken towards better weather monitoring, formalising standard operating procedures, coordination among various agencies, mass evacuations, preparation of cyclone relief spaces and more -- all factors that led to the government minimising casualties caused by Phailin.

Writing in The Indian Express, Member of Parliament Baijayant Jay Panda argues that the one thing that stood out the most amid the devastation left behind by the super cyclone of 1999 was the ineptitude of the state government, which "appeared unprepared and taken mostly by surprise".

So, at least some of the gains seen now have clearly been achieved by the district-level administration and state bureaucracy due to the stable leadership of CM Naveen Patnaik of the BJD, the party Panda represents, he writes.

"In the past decade, several regional political leaders have turned upside down the old conventional wisdom that anti-incumbency invariably causes ruling parties to lose elections. This has primarily been linked to a corresponding improvement in governance, measured both by widespread acclaim as well as corroborated by socio-economic indicators.

Odisha has been one of the prime examples of this phenomenon, with a three-time chief minister looking poised to lead his party to yet another electoral victory..." he writes.

Such standards should not be just made an example -- they should be made the standard bare minimum response. Through sustained efforts, if Odisha has undertaken capacity building for such a response, then it is essential that such capacity building become the statute everywhere else, to respond to disasters such as Uttarakhand or temple stampedes.

 


Published Date: Oct 14, 2013 12:44 PM | Updated Date: Oct 14, 2013 12:44 PM

Tags :#Andhra Pradesh#Biju Janata Dal#BJP#Congress#Cyclone#Disaster#Jay Panda#Katrina#Met Department#Naveen Patnaik#NewsTracker#Odisha#Phailin#Supercyclone

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