Cyclone leaves trail of destruction in Odisha town

Cyclone leaves trail of destruction in Odisha townBERHAMPUR, Odisha: Berhampur, the biggest city in southern Odisha, today looked like a war zone as Cyclone Phailin left behind a trail of destruction.

The cyclone accompanied by heavy rain hit Gopalpur, about 15 km from here, and battered the city and its nearby areas.

Official sources said two persons were killed after walls collapsed on them in the town.

Scores of trees and electric poles were uprooted disrupting traffic movement in the town while at least three mobile towers were blown away under the impact of the high speed wind.

Walls of various government buildings and private houses collapsed at many places in which two persons were killed in the town while decorated Durga puja pandals were blown aside.

Boundary walls of juvenile home at Khudashingh and Khallikote Autonomous College had collapsed under the impact of the gale.

“I had never seen such devastation in my life”, a 50-year-old trader Shankar Rao said.

The city had experienced a lot of devastation in 1999, a fortnight before the Super Cyclone.

The district administration and the police in coordination with NDRF, ODRAF and fire brigade personnel were busy in clearing major roads.

DIG of Police Amitabh Thakur and Superintendent of Police Anirudha Singh were monitoring the rescue operation.

A big slum area in Khaja Street in the town was completely destroyed by the natural disaster though the people living there were shifted the night before the cyclone hit the coast as part of Berhampur Municipal Corporation’s drive to shift slum dwellers to safer places.

Ganjam District Collector Kissan Kumar said restoration of normalcy was the top priority of the administration and efforts were on to supply drinking water to all areas. -PTI

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