Bhubaneswar: Foreign media has lauded Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s initiatives for effective management of extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani that made landfall earlier on Friday on the eastern coast wreaking havoc in the State.
“Cyclone Fani slammed into Odisha on Friday morning with the force of a major hurricane, packing 120 mile per hour winds. Trees were ripped from the ground and many coastal shacks smashed. It could have been catastrophic. But as of early Saturday, mass casualties seem to have been averted. While the full extent of the destruction remained unclear, only a few deaths had been reported, in what appeared to be an early-warning success story”, the New York Times said in a report.
To tackle Fani effectively, the Odisha government deployed everything it had, 2.6 million text messages, 43,000 volunteers, nearly 1,000 emergency workers, television commercials, coastal sirens, buses, police officers, and public address systems blaring the same message on a loop, in local language, in very clear terms: “A cyclone is coming. Get to the shelters.” It seems to have largely worked, the report said.
On Thursday morning, Odisha government officials released a five-page action plan. They seemed to have left nothing uncovered. The most important part was to get people to the shelters. Since Odisha has been hit by many killer storms, state emergency officers said they had drilled on their evacuation plans many times.
This is so
different from 20 years ago, when a fearsome cyclone blasted into this
same area and obliterated villages, killing thousands. Many people were
caught flat-footed in their homes. Some of the dead were found miles
from where they had lived, dragged away by raging cascades.
After that, the Odisha authorities vowed to ensure a disaster like that never felled them again, it added.