04 May 2019
Bhubaneswar: With only seven deaths reported as of now, Odisha Government and administration under the leadership of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has successfully managed to keep death toll at a minimum during the wreckage of Category 4 cyclone FANI. Following this, international media and Twitterati have been showering praises and here are some of the excerpts:
In a New York Times article ‘How Do You Save a Million People From a Cyclone? Ask a Poor State in India’, the reports states:
“Government authorities in Odisha, along India’s eastern flank, hardly stood still. To warn people of what was coming, they deployed everything they 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.”
“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.”
It is notable to mention here that Naveen Patnaik was constantly monitoring the situation. Before the landfall of FANI, several preparedness meetings had been chaired by him in the State Secretariat stressing on importance of 'zero-casualty'. All the officers were also kept on their toes to carry out evacuation and awareness programs. On the other hand, district administrations were given directions to provide free food to the evacuated people and keep relief materials ready.
On Twitter, eminent personalities like Prabhu Chawla, Anand Mahindra, Iqbal Khan, Kamal Hassan praised the Government's efforts and urged people to stand united with Odisha.
Writer, activist and documentary film maker Sadhavi Khosla said, “I am totally impressed with Naveen_Odisha disaster management plan. Under him, Odisha has become the first State in Southeast Asia to be felicitated for disaster management by United Nation and that’s not a small achievement.”
Similarly another editor Shivam Vij said, “The death count could have been in thousands had it not been for the incredible disaster relief mechanism put in place by the Odisha government. It’s an unsung achievement, one that we should all be proud of and the world must emulate.”
Nistula Hebbar, political editor of The Hindu tweeted, “Must say kudos to @Naveen_Odisha and admin for disaster preparedness, #CycloneFani could well have ended up with a huge body count if not for timely evacuation!”
Communications consultant and political campaign advisor Dilip Cherian said, “Truly an incredible preparatory exercise that's kudos to @Naveen_Odisha and team Odisha #CycloneFani contained as best as could be done....#Respect”
Journalist Maya Mirchandani tweeted, "Truly remarkable. During successive regimes and successive cyclones/ typhoons/ storms that lash at his state, @Naveen_Odisha has been a step ahead of them- can’t fight nature, but he’s certainly shown the way on how to minimize damage/casualties. #CycloneFani #RebuildingLives"
Similarly, editor Shutapa Paul said, "Not enough said of stellar job by @Naveen_Odisha & his administration every time there is cyclone. Past lessons learnt, use of drill practice, all helped in averting what could have led to massive loss of human life. Bravo! Lessons for everyone in India & overseas #CycloneFani"
While official Government figure of the death count is yet to be released, it has been ascertained that the toll has been kept to a minimum. In the meantime, efforts for restoration of property and rehabilitation of over 1 million people is underway on war-footing.