Odisha bags award for cyclone Phailin evacuation efforts

Bhubaneswar, Dec 9: Odisha has bagged a prestigious award for evacuating more than a million people which ensured minimum loss of lives during cyclone Phailin in the state, an official said here Monday.

The Indian Institute of Management, Raipur has conferred the International Conference on Humanitarian Logistics 2013 award to the state-run Odisha State Disaster Management Authority for excellence in humanitarian action.

The award was conferred for valuable contribution in creating greater public awareness on multi-hazard risk and vulnerability in the districts of the state, a senior official of the state disaster management department told IANS.

The state government established Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, conducted community capacity building interventions at the sub-district levels and mock drills in the multipurpose cyclone shelters.

Besides, it monitored a close watch on cyclone Phailin Oct 8 onwards, ensuring the safe movement more than one million people to cyclone shelters and minimising the loss of lives in the affected areas.

The very severe tropical cyclone Phailin in the Bay of Bengal made landfall Oct 12 night near Gopalpur in Ganjam district.

At least 60 people were killed in the storm and subsequent floods. This was nothing compared to the super cyclone in 1999 that claimed 10,000 lives in the state.

IANS