Odisha CM offers ODRAF help for Nepal

Bhubaneswar: Seeking the Centre’s intervention for early evacuation of some people, including women sportspersons, belonging to Odisha from quake-hit Nepal, chief minister Naveen Patnaik today offered service of ODRAF in relief and rescue operation in the Himalayan state.

Patnaik informed the Centre that the state government was ready to send personnel belonging to the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), according to sources in the chief minister’s office here.

He also expressed concern over the safety of some people from the state in the quake hit areas.

Expressing grief over loss of human lives both in India and Nepal, Patnaik said the government of India should take steps to ensure safety of Indians in Nepal.

Meanwhile, a report said that at least five women footballers including former captain of Indian women football team Shraddhnajli Samantray from Odisha had a narrow escape when the strong earthquake of 7.9 on Richter scale hit Nepal.

“We got a message that my daughter and other Odisha players are safe,” Shradhanjali’s father Netrananda Samantray told reporters. The father said though he could not directly contact Shradhanjali presently in Nepal, information about their safety was passed on through his daughter’s friend.

Samantray said the quake devastated Nepal when Indian team was playing against Iran on the ground.

Besides Sradhanjali, Janaki Murmu, Iva Panna, Banya Kabiraj and Shanti Murmu were in the 18-member under-14 girls national team to play in the AFC South-central regional competition in Kathmandu.

He said all the players were taken to a safe place and all are safe now.

While there was no report of any damage or casualty in the state, the people across Odisha felt the tremors, said deputy relief commissioner Prabhat Ranjan Mohapatra.