Bhubaneswar, Oct 13: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday announced compensation packages for all victims of Cyclone Phailin, and added that the rehabilitation process would start soon after the conclusion of the assessment of damage to homes and crop by district officials.
“The state government is taking all possible steps to provide emergent relief to the persons affected in yesterday’s cyclone,” Patnaik said.
Making a distinction based on preliminary damage assessment, Patnaik announced that there would be two levels of compensatory packages handed out to victims on a per family basis, while fishermen would also be compensated for their loss of livelihood due to Cyclone Phailin.
“The families in very severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for 14 days. This will be given in the shape of 50 kilograms of rice and Rs. 400 in cash for Dal (lentil) per family,” Patnaik said.
“The families in severely affected villages in need of support will be provided food assistance for seven days. This will be given in the shape of 25 kilograms of rice and Rs. 200 in cash for Dal (lentil) per family,” he said.
“Besides, all fishermen who were prevented from going to the sea because of the cyclone will be given 10 kilograms of rice each for the loss of livelihood,” he added.
In an exclusive interview with Asian News International, Patnaik confirmed that roads would be repaired within the next 24 hours, while power and electricity would be restored in 36 hours in most places.
Patnaik also confirmed that the preliminary assessment of damages in the state revealed nine people have died in the state and more than 2 lakh kacha houses have been damaged due to the cyclone.
“Nine people have perished,” he said in an exclusive interview with Asian News International.
“The assessment of the damages is going on. We understand that more than 2 lakh kacha houses have been damaged. Ofcourse, the people will get the appropriate rehabilitation. We will see to that as soon as possible,” he added.
Earlier today, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Surjeet Singh Guleria said that the damage assessment is being carried out since morning.
“We have taken many steps. Twenty-nine teams were deployed since yesterday. Since 5 in the morning, they are carrying out the damage assessment, they are clearing the roads; while clearing the roads, and we are seeing that there are a few buildings, which have collapsed. So we are clearing the buildings also so that there is no person found trapped. So that kind of care we are taking,” he said.
Earlier today, in the latest update on Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS) Phailin, Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department, L.S. Rathore, said that the natural disaster had not caused any loss of life since the landfall on Saturday evening and complimented the media for its role during the hours of crisis.
Meanwhile, the MeT has issued a warning to Bihar as it is likely that the rivers running into Bihar will overflow and cause disruption in the state.
The landfall took place at around 9.15 p.m. on Saturday night and the impact of the cyclone lasted for over seven hours before it moved in a north-northwesterly direction.
Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said Saturday that at least eight districts of Odisha had faced the brunt of the cyclone, while three districts of Andhra Pradesh namely Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam were affected.
About 26 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams have been deployed in Odisha, along with three on standby. In Andhra Pradesh, there are 15 teams of the NDRF, with additional two on standby.
The Army has deployed an engineering task force, six composite relief units, four columns in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh . The Air Force, on its part, has put in place frontline C-17 Globemasters, C-130 J Super Hercules and IL-76 transport planes to Odisha to carry out relief operations. The Indian Air Force can move into the affected areas by Sunday afternoon to speed up the relief operations. Strong winds blowing currently do not permit air operations.
The Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy has assumed the highest degree of readiness to render all necessary humanitarian assistance.
Six advance diving teams with inflatable boats, rescue material and satellite communication have left for Odisha by road and will operate from INS Chilka, 50 km north of Gopalapatnam, where the cyclone is expected to make landfall.
The Eastern Naval Command is monitoring the developments closely and is in constant communication with the state administration to augment rescue and relief operations.
Six helicopters are standing by at the Naval Air Station INS Dega to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded.
Additionally, the telecom department has also prepared itself to ensure that communication links are stable during the expected disaster. (ANI)