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A day after Cyclone Yaas, signs of destruction in Odisha

A woman with her two children in their damaged house in Kendrapara district, Odisha, a day after Cyclone Yaas struck. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Normal life remained disrupted in the Odisha’s coastal districts of Bhadrak, Balasore, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur a day after Cyclone Yaas hit the state. The high-velocity winds uprooted trees, which damaged several vehicles and houses and caused traffic snarls in several parts.

“The cyclone damaged our houses and crops,” said Prahallad Das of Barajadhauli village, Balasore district, where Cyclone Yaas made landfall May 26.

Adhir Baral (56) from Bishnupur village in Balasore constructed a four-room asbestos house three years ago. The cyclone destroyed his house. 

One person died in Balasore district when a tree fell on him. Another died in Keonjhar district when a tree fell on him while he was heading to a temple. In Mayurbhanj district, a woman died when her house collapsed, according to Pradeep Kumar Jena, Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha.

“Our mission was to minimise loss. Government officials, police, panchayat body members, self-help groups, etc helped us achieve that. Around 0.65 million people were evacuated before Cyclone Yaas struck,” added Jena.

Restoration work was started in the affected areas immediately after the cyclone, Jena said.

“Many villagers need polythene covers for their damaged houses. But the authorities have yet to provide them. We are determined to build back our houses,” said Rajani Jena from Dagara village, Balasore. 

Abanti Mohanty, Sarapanch, Dagara Gram Panchayat said as many as 500 houses collapsed there. “Those whose were fully damaged are staying in cyclone shelters, schools and in the pucca houses of other villagers. But many surveyed the damage to their properties and crops a day after the cyclone,” he said.

Tidal waves hit many seaside villages, causing extensive damage to agricultural fields. Mud embankments quickly gave way as sea water gushed inside villages. At least three people died in the state.

The village has descended into darkness. Electric poles and wires punctuate the roads. Officials were seen repairing damaged electricity wires.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on May 27 reviewed the situation and announced relief for seven days for all the families of 128 marooned villages in the cyclone-affected districts.

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