26 December 2019
Bhubaneswar: The end of the year is just around the corner and with dawn of the year and a new decade all we can hope is move on from the tragedies that shook the state and its residents. The mishaps, some of which the administration was prepared while for others the administration learned to be prepared. Several lives were lost and several more lived the trauma.
Extremely Severe Cyclone Fani
While the State government was all prepared for Fani, its extremity could not be predicted and when it hit Odisha coast on May 3 the wind speed touched 200 kmph gusting up to 220kmph. Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Ganjam districts bore the maximum impact.
The district administration and the police were made aware of the situation and made to prepare and create awareness. All electronic devices, especially the radio and VHF handsets in Commissionerate of Police inventory were commissioned to be used during the exigent situation.
In the end, a staggering total 1,40,60,602 people of 14 districts in the State were hit hard by the ravaging Cyclone Fani. Also, 5030 km. of 33 KV lines, 38613 Kms. of 11 KV lines, 11077 nos. of distribution transformers, and 79485 Kms. of LT lines damaged.
Help for victims came in all forms to the denizens of the State. People and organisations donated freely for the victims.
Severe Cyclone Bulbul
The severe cyclone storm Bulbul which originated in Bay of Bengal, and later changed course to hit Bangladesh coast. While neighbouring West Bengal bore more of the brunt, in Odisha heavy rains and strong winds were witnessed on November 7 and 8.
Landslide In Talcher MCL Mines
In a midnight mishap on July 23, five workers were killed and several others were injured after they were trapped in a landslide at Bharatpur coal mine of Mahanadi Coalfields in Talcher of Angul district. The incident occurred when coal blasting was underway. In effect of the blast, a portion of land collapsed causing a landslide and trapping over 10 workers, heavy-weight vehicles and equipment.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced Rs 5 lakh ex-gratia for kin of deceased. Additionally, Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) of MCL suspended Senior Manager (Mining) VK Singh in connection with the strata failure.
Kendrapara Boat Capsize
New Year celebrations turned tragic when ten picnickers were killed in a boat capsize incident in river Mahanadi near Hukitola village of Kendrapara district on January 3. The presence of crocodiles in the area may pose as a hurdle for the rescue operations.
Not caring for their lives, two braveheart sisters- Sabita Giri and Purnima Giri saved over 10 lives. They were not only felicitated by the Chief Minister but are also set to receive the Indian Council of Child Welfare’s (ICCW) National Bravery Awards 2019.
Silent Killer- Deaths Due To Snakebite
These two factors have turned to be major killers in the State. As many as 3,423 precious lives have been lost due to snake bites in the State from April 2015 till date. Odisha government has already declared death due to snakebite as a State-specific disaster from April 1, 2015, and family members of a person killed due to snakebite are eligible to get a compensation of Rs 4 lakh.
Read On: Snakebite A Major Killer In Odisha