From 1999 to 2021, how Odisha has mastered the art of taming natural disasters

It was the yr 1999 when an excellent cyclone had ravaged elements of Odisha, accounting for the lives of over 10,000 folks. The 1999 tremendous cyclone ranks amongst the worst natural disasters in India. Now, in May 2021, one other tremendous cyclone, Cyclone Yaas, has hit the state however due to its sturdy evacuation mechanism and preparedness, Odisha has managed to comprise the harm by a definitive margin.

Cyclone Yaas made landfall in Odisha on May 26 between the north of Dhamra coast in Bhadrak district and Bahanga coast in Balasore district. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclonic storm has weakened right into a deep despair over southern Jharkhand and Odisha late on Thursday. So far, solely three deaths have been reported due to the cyclone — two in Odisha and one in West Bengal.

In the final 30 months, Odisha has confronted as many as six cyclones however the loss of life toll has by no means exceeded a single digit. Odisha Special Relief Commissioner P Okay Jena informed India Today the solely distinction the state has made in the final 20 years is ‘preparedness’.


As quickly as climate specialists predicted the approaching of Cyclone Yaas, the state catastrophe administration division was activated instantly and undertook all precautionary measures, together with evacuation of folks to meet the zero causality goal set by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Multiple groups of ODRAF, NDRF, Odisha Police, hearth personnel, power division personnel and PWD swung into motion as soon as the cyclone’s landfall was full. Rescue and restoration operations had been on conflict footing. As a consequence, roads had been cleared inside hours and energy provide was restored in the whole Balasore district inside 7-8 hours.

Odisha authorities has managed to evacuate at the least 710,000 folks so removed from the low-lying and seaside areas with the assist of response forces on the floor. The catastrophe response crew contains 52 groups of NDRF (20-25 members per crew), 60 groups of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (13 members per crew), 206 hearth service groups (8-13 members per crew), 50 platoons of Odisha Special Armed Police, 86 tree cutter groups from state forest division (8 members together with 1 officer per crew).

A restoration crew removes fallen timber off the highway.

Besides the catastrophe response crew, the state has additionally deployed a number of groups for the redevelopment of cyclone-affected areas. This contains 154 employees from the public welfare division, 313 groups of rural improvement division (1 junior engineer and 22 labourers per crew), 104 groups for highway cleansing, 606 engineering division groups together with officers and labourers. At least 10,000 members from the power division had been pre-deployed in strategic places resembling hospitals and different necessary locations to assist the administration in sooner restoration.

The state authorities has additionally deployed 1,000 diesel generator units to run water provide methods, 1,000 cellular tankers, over 2,000 PVC tanks to be positioned in the villages.

Two of the main USPs of Odisha’s means of preventing natural disasters are large evacuations, each focused and blanket, and inter-department coordination. The state has a strong institutional construction with a dedicated workforce of catastrophe administration division that’s intently monitored by top-level officers.


Evacuating folks from the possible cyclone-affected areas was a difficult process due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the first section, the administration opted for focused evacuation by shifting folks from kachha homes and low-lying areas to a secure place. In the second section, the administration routed for blanket evacuation of villages falling on 4 meters line and consequently, not a single harm or loss of life occurred in over 150 villages the place heavy waterlogging was reported.

Rescue groups evacuating folks from a village in Odisha.

Covid administration throughout cyclone

Facing a twin problem due to the cyclone and Covid-19 pandemic, the restoration groups fortified doorways and home windows of Covid designated hospitals; sufficient medication, injections, consumables had been stocked in hospitals; sufficient oxygen cylinders and buffer inventory had been maintained; meals was organized for sufferers, medical doctors, and paramedics inside the hospital. As a consequence, none of the Covid hospitals in the cyclone-affected districts reported any untoward incidents.

Food being supplied at a shelter residence.

Despite the landfall of Cyclone Yaas on Wednesday, Odisha facilitated unhindered transportation of medical oxygen to the Covid-affected states. Besides coordinating the interstate motion of oxygen tankers, the state police additionally ensured the oxygen provide reached the native hospitals.

District collectors of the potential cyclone-hit districts had been requested to identify every single pregnant woman with an estimated date of supply up to first week of June and shift them to hospitals as an alternative of taking them to cyclone shelters. Around 4,500 such ladies had been recognized out of which 2,500 had been discovered to be shifted to the hospital. On the day Cyclone Yaas made landfall, 190 childbirths had been reported in Odisha.

Members of a rescue crew handing over a child to the mom throughout an evacuation drive in Odisha.

The administration additionally recognized folks with psychological problems and specially-abled individuals sure by wheelchairs and shifted them to totally different shelter houses with particular services.

Able management

Recalling a gathering with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after he assumed his put up for the first time in 2000, Jena mentioned the CM informed him that being a coastal state, Odisha can’t utterly keep away from cyclones. “The only thing we can do is save Lives, and every single life is precious for me,” Jena recalled the CM as saying.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conducts aerial survey of the cylone-affected areas.

During the preparation for Cyclone Amphan final yr, CM Naveen Patnaik had put a goal of ‘zero casualty’ earlier than the administration. The state had registered a single-digit loss of life toll due to the cyclone.

“We have now achieved a capacity to evacuate at least 10 to 50 lakh people in less than 24 hours,” Jena said.

Jena said that every year June 19, the government conducts a statewide mock drill on how to respond if a storm or Cyclone comes. “The establishment you create shouldn’t be inflexible; it ought to be versatile, adaptable. How shortly you adapt to the emergency scenario, how shortly you modify your Plan-A with Plan-B in accordance to the want of scenario is necessary,” he mentioned.

Also Read: Dilip Ghosh praises Mamata Banerjee administration for Yaas management, takes U-turn later in day

Also Watch: PM Modi to visit Odisha, Bengal tomorrow to review impact of Cyclone Yaas

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