Cyclone Bulbul kills 2 in Odisha, damages crops

A wiew of destroyed fisherman village in the aftermath of cyclone 'Bulbul', at Fraserganj. (PTI Photo)

Heavy rain and high-velocity winds triggered by cyclone 'Bulbul' claimed at least two lives and wreaked havoc in most parts of coastal Odisha, officials said on Sunday.

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel was seriously injured during restoration operation in Bhadrak district, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Shyama Bhakta Mishra said.

The cyclone also caused extensive damage to crops in the coastal districts, leaving farmers in the lurch, the officials said.

Though it skipped Odisha and made landfall between West Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on Saturday, heavy downpour and gale-force winds left a trail of destruction, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting trees, electric poles and affecting telecom towers in the state, they said.

While the death of an elderly man was reported earlier owing to wall collapse in Kendrapara on Saturday, another casualty due to drowning came to light on Sunday in Mahakalapada area of the district, a senior official said.

Manoranjan Prasad, who headed an NDRF unit, was busy clearing uprooted trees in Basuvedpur area when an electric pole fell on him, Mishra said.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital and then shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

"#CycloneBulbul - Personally sad that Manoranjan - a colleague of #NDRFamily got serious head/spine injury from falling electric pole while clearing fallen trees @Bhadrak. Pls #Pray4Manoranjan. He needs&deserves it," NDRF Director General Satyanarayan Pradhan said in a tweet.

The authorities had put in place elaborate arrangements to deal with the impact of the cyclonic storm in over 10 of Odisha's 30 districts.

Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts bore the maximum brunt and suffered extensive damage to crops, the senior official said.

Around 40 per cent standing crops and over six lakh hectares of cultivable land spread over five districts have been damaged due to rain and strong winds triggered by 'Bulbul', Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena.

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central) Anil Samal, who visited several parts of Bhadrak district, said standing crops in Chabdbali, Dhamra and Basudevpur areas suffered major damage.

The power supply has been restored in most affected areas, while almost all the roads have been cleared of uprooted trees, the officials said.

As many as 20 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), six units of the NDRF and 226 fire services teams were pressed into service in the restoration operation, they added. 

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