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Cyclone Amphan disaster preparedness and relief measures

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aftermath of Cyclone Amphan
An aerial view shows flooded houses after a dam broke following the landfall of cyclone Amphan on May 21, 2020
 
Cyclone Amphan made landfall along the coasts of Odisha and West Bengal on May 20th and wreaked havoc. Among the 10 affected districts, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts have been heavily affected due to the cyclone, where many trees and electric poles have been uprooted resulting in disruption of road communication, electricity and telecommunication.
There is extensive damage to kutcha houses in Balasore, Bhadrak and Kendrapara districts. Boats and fishing
equipment, structures of temporary street vendors, poultry farms and standing crops have been reportedly damaged in five
districts.

Controlled damage

However, the damage could have been much worse, if not for the disaster preparedness of the state governments, nonprofit organisations and the CSR divisions of private companies. The Government of Odisha undertook various initiatives, including evacuating more than two lakh population to ensure zero
casualty.
UNICEF is working with the office of the Special Relief Commissioner, Odisha, IAG and other UN agencies. The first EMT meeting for Odisha FO took place on 20th May. Further, UNICEF sector specialists are closely monitoring the situation through local CSO partners and key government departments.
HAM Radio was installed in Balasore and Bhadrak on war-footing to ensure emergency communication in case the general communication system fails. The government is focusing on rebuilding infrastructure, restoring power supply and mobile connectivity in the worst affected areas.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced an advance assistance fund of INR 1,000 crore to West Bengal for relief and rehabilitation work to be undertaken in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan. PM Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee undertook an aerial survey of damages caused by cyclone Amphan and held review meetings with top government officials. The Prime Minister also announced INR 2 lakhs ex-gratia to the kin of those killed and INR 50,000 to the injured ones from the PM Relief Fund.

Rebuilding efforts

By 10 am on 21st May, 90% of the telephone network and 85% of the power supply had been restored. 20 teams of NDRF, 16 teams of ODRAF, over 231 teams of fire service and 100 teams of OFDC (under forest dept.) were deployed to restore normalcy at the earliest. 700 water tankers including lorry mounted PVC tanks and over 300 DG sets were kept ready to ensure rural water supply.
210 Mobile Medical Teams (MMTs) were deployed in the affected areas for providing immediate medical assistance. Similarly, 75 veterinary teams have been deployed in the affected areas for ensuring animal care.
Odisha has offered helping hand to West Bengal to restore the relief lines, emergency communication systems water supply and electricity. The Government has issued instructions to the affected districts to ensure social distancing and adhering other protective measures while evacuating people and keeping them in shelters, keeping the coronavirus situation in view.
Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) arranged Adani DAV public school at Dhamra to be used as shelter for evacuated people. Their corporate social responsibility (CSR) team is also giving support to all the villagers of nearby panchayats. “About 100 personnel of NESCO (North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha Ltd) are in port to help us in post cyclone restoration work. We are extending our full support to NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapidi Action Force) and the district administration during this crisis period,” said a spokesperson of APSEZ.