Balasore/Bhadrak: Uprooted trees, disrupted communication lines, floating cars, damaged houses and perplexed human faces.
These are sights which greet one while passing through the cyclone ravaged Balasore and Bhadrak districts on Wednesday.
As the very severe cyclonic storm Yaas made landfall firing from all cylinders in Bahanaga under Balasore district, its gut-wrenching speed clocking over 150 kmph blew away the roof of scores of thatched and asbestos houses, rendering the poor homeless.
Making things worse, the monstrous tidal waves breached the seashore and inundated villages, homes and farmlands with saline water.
As per reports, the tidal waves towering over 12 ft high swept into villages between Talasari and Udaypur as well as from Chandipur to Balaramgadi.
Areas like Bhogarai, Baliapal, Bahanaga, Nilagiri, Balasore Sadar, Basta and Jaleswar bore the maximum brunt of the tidal waves where thousands of kutcha houses were reportedly damaged apart from hundreds of hacters of farmlands and prawn enclosures.
A local affected by the cyclone in Balasore said, “Our boats are damaged, nets have been blown away. We find ourselves in a hopeless situation.”
Similarly another woman in Balasore said, “Our house was washed away by the tides. My children are homeless now. I am awaiting government help.”
Sources said, more than 50 houses in the low lying areas of Balasore Sadar have been badly damaged. Even a youth is said to have sustained injuries after a tree uprooted and fell on him at Railway Colony.
K Sudarshan Chakraborty, the District Collector of Balasore said, “Our priority is to restore electricity supply and communication lines as soon as possible. We have adequate manpower and hopefully we will restore normalcy by tomorrow afternoon at Balasore headquarters.”
As far as Bhadrak is concerned, Yaas left its mark in many areas of the district including Dhamara, Chandbali, Basudevpur and Tihidi blocks.
A health centre at Guamala in Tihidi was damaged after a tree fell on it.
In Bhadrak, drainage of rainwater played havoc. Locals at Nuagaon under Basudevpur dug up a road to save their homes from submerging. As many as 16 Panchayats in Basudevpur were marooned after tidal waves inundated their villages.
Sources said more than 30 wards of Bhadrak Municipality remained flooded in rain water. “There is a blockage in drain just ahead of this road which has caused water inundation here. It needs to be unclogged as soon as possible,” said Goutam Barik, a Bhadrak resident.
Speaking about the restoration works in Bhadrak, Collector Gyana Dash said, “We have already put generators and pumps to drain out water from low lying areas. Road clearance works have also started.”
Hopefully we will restore power in parts of Bhadrak Municipality by tonight. As far as other areas of the district are concerned, tree cutting work is being undertaken as we speak and we will restore power soon enough.”
It is pertinent to mention here that, the windspeed was relatively lower as compared to the projections made by the IMD. However, it did not stop the cyclone to destroy whatever came on its way.