Radio vital role in landfall site during cyclone

Berhampur: With power supply yet to be restored worst-hit Ganjam district since Cyclone Phailin pounded Odisha on October 12, its people are relying on their discarded transistor radios to remain connected to the rest of the world.

Power supply to coastal Ganjam district had been disconnected on the day from 11 am as per a standing instruction of the state government as strong gales from Bay of Bengal had crossed the 60 km per hour mark much before the cyclone landfall that took place at 8.30 pm.

"We had last watched television news channels till about 11 am on Saturday (October 12). When the electricity supply was snapped, we had no option but to turn to the transistor radios," says A Srinivas Rao, a resident of Berhampore town.

"Since there was no other way to know what is happening around us during the cyclone, the transistor radio gave us vital informations. We had virtually stopped using radios for a long time," said Pranita Mohapatra, a housewife.

Berhampur station of All India Radio broadcast updated information about movements of Cyclone Phailin and the devastation caused by it, chief of programmes, AIR Berhampur, Hrusikesh Panigrahi said.

The FM radio station in Berhampur too provided information about the devastation, particularly in Ganjam district, said Sudarshan Mohanty, a resident of Berhampur.

Interviews of different authorities, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, district collector Krishan Kumar, managing director of Southco, the power distribution company P K Choudhury, commissioner of Berhampur Municipal Corporation Ajit Mishra were aired, said Panigrahi.

"We also aired live phone-in programme of the victims of different places," he said.

AIR is still broadcasting programes on devastation in different places and plight of the cyclone victims in different places every half-an hour.

Live phone-in programmes are being aired from the worst-affected villages – New Bauxipalli, Golabandh, Digipur, Haripur, Basanaputi, Ariapalli, Gopalpur, Rangeliunda, Karapalli, he added.

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