Breaking News! After a long wait, the Cyclone Phailin finally hit the Gopalpur Coast in Odisha at around 9:15 PM. The wind speed has crossed 200 km/hour in Gopalpur, while it is around 180 km per hour in Puri. The Cyclone has slowed down a bit and will dissipate within six hours or so. It is not a ‘Super Cyclone’, as reported earlier.
However, the cyclone will take another one hour or so while crossing the coast and may witness an increase in wind speed (up to 225 km per hour). A sea surge (high tide) of 3-3.5 metre has been reported from Coastal Odisha. The information was provided by IMD DG LS Rathore.
The Cyclone Phailin, which has been termed as a ‘very severe’ storm, has already triggered massive damages across Puri, Gopalpur, Khordha, Ganjam district, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Paradip etc. Seven districts of Odisha along with capital city Bhubaneswar, have been without power since either last night or this morning. In Bhubaneswar, the wind speed is recorded at 80-100 km/hour.
Many trees and electric poles have been uprooted in the affected area. So, the power services will take a few more days to restore. Over 7.2 lakh people have been evacuated in Odisha so far, which is the biggest ever rescue operation in the world at a short span of time.
The rescue and relief operation will begin once the cyclone recedes tomorrow morning. The Army, Navy, Police Force, ODRAF and NDRF along with the NGOs and Volunteers are fully prepared to start the operation. At least six people have lost their lives due to tree falling across Odisha.
Although the Cyclone may not cause havoc, the incessant rains over the next two days, may make things difficult for the common people. In addition, the power, Internet and water crisis may add to the woes of people. The mobile towers are still working and that is a great relief.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his administration deserve the kudos for keeping the casualties at minimum and helping people to get proper accommodation and food. In addition, the way the teams are working 24/7 to clear the roads and restore other services, braving strong winds and heavy rains, is definitely praiseworthy.
Helpline Numbers in Odisha:
Bhubaneswar: 0674-2534177, Ganjam: 06811-263978, Puri: 06752-223237, Jagatsinghpur: 06724-220368, Kendrapada: 06727-232803, Bhadrak: 06784-251881, Balasore: 06782-262674, Mayurbhanj: 06792-252759, Jajpur: 06728-222648, Cuttack: 0671-2507842, Khordha: 06755-220002, Nayagarh: 06753-252978, Gajapati: 06815-222943, Dhenkanal: 06762-221376, Keonjhar: 06766-255437.