As Cyclone Phailin made the landfall in Gopalpur at around 9:15 PM IST with a wind speed of 200 km/hour and may cause havoc for another four hours or so, widespread devastation has been reported from Ganjam district, including Berhampur and Gopalpur. The wind speed continues at the same pace, but could dissipate soon.
Since the cyclone hit the Odisha Coast in the night hours and under complete darkness, it would be difficult to ascertain the amount of damage before the sunrise. However, this is certain that damages could be in several hundred crores. Around 7.2 lakh people were evacuated from all affected areas in the state on time.
The casualties were kept at minimum level, thanks to the alertness and preparedness of the Odisha Government, but several houses and hotels in Gopalpur and Berhapur suffered ostensible damages. All window panes in these towns and other adjacent areas were smashed by the strong winds. Air Conditioner Compressors, Vehicles and other essential items were damaged beyond repair.
Big and small trees fell to the ground elsewhere in those cities. Apart from that, electric poles were either uprooted or bent, triggering a massive crisis. Such incidents were reported from Puri, Khordha, Balugaon, Rambha, Chhatrapur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip and many other parts of Coastal Odisha.
After Gopalpur, Puri and Paradip were the worst-hit areas. Since the government had evacuated around 7.2 lakh people on time, people’s lives could be saved during this severe cyclone. The real damage and volume of loss would be known tomorrow morning. The rescue and relief team are raring to go anytime after the cyclone recedes.