Bhubaneswar: Life was limping back to normalcy in Odisha's four worst hit tribal districts after Cyclone Hudhud moved to Chhattisgarh as Odisha government today said the storm damaged about 80,000 houses, power infrastructure and roads besides claiming three lives.
"There had been extensive damage to houses and energy infrastructure due to the cyclone. Restoration work is being carried out on war footing," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here after taking stock of the situation.
As the very severe cyclonic storm hit Visakhapatanam yesterday noon, the calamity had its impact on the southern region of Odisha close to Andhra Pradesh.
"Four districts -- Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada -- were badly hit by the cyclone while there is little impact on other southern districts like Ganjam, Kandhamal, Kalahandi and Nabarangpur," Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said.
According to preliminary reports, 25,000 kutchha houses were damaged in Koraput district, 15,000 houses in Gajapati, 7,000 in Rayagada and 1,000 houses in Malkagiri, the SRC said adding reports from other districts were awaited.
Though three persons -- two children in Kendrapara district and a fisherman in Puri district -- died due to the cyclone, the state government said it was able to save lives of many people by undertaking timely evacuation of 2,47,829 people to safe shelters.
"Many evacuated people have left for their homes by this evening as the intensity of cyclone died down," deputy special relief commissioner Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra said.
As the wind speed was about 100 kmph when the cyclone passed Odisha, there has been substantial damage to electrical infrastructures, Energy Secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said adding as many as 24 transformers, 75 KM long low tension wire and 600 electric poles were damaged.
"Within 12 hours, we have been able to provide power supply to the entire district and block headquarters towns. More than 60 per cent of the affected people have now got electricity supply. It would be fully restored within two days," Mohapatra said.
Meanwhile, road and train connectivity have been restored.
While Odisha State Road Transport Corporation has decided to ply buses in the affected districts from tomorrow, railways began train service till Palasa. East Coast Railway has, however, cancelled certain trains and diverted route of some Vishakhapatanam-bound trains.
The state government also claimed that roads have been mostly cleared with the assistance of NDRF, ODRAF and Fire Services teams, the SRC said adding repair of roads, culverts and other infrastructure were on war footing.
Though there had been rise in the water level of some southern Odisha rivers including Bansadhara and Rushikulya, he ruled out possibility of any fresh flood due to rainfall caused by the cyclone. Mohapatra said the cyclone Hudhud crossed the state at about 11.00 PM yesterday to Chhattisgarh.
Replying to a question, he said the state government would provide relief to the affected population according to the laid down norms.
As per the chief minister's direction, 30 teams, each comprising seven members, of fire service personnel have been sent to Andhra Pradesh with machinery to clear roads and tree cutting, the SRC said.