Ersama resident getting ready to face Cyclone `Phailin`
As the sky turns overcast and torrential rains lash Erasama block, Pravati Maity of Jagatsinghpur district is haunted by the painful memories of the 1999 killer cyclone.
Kendrapara (Odisha): As the sky turns overcast and torrential rains lash Erasama block, Pravati Maity of Jagatsinghpur district is haunted by the painful memories of the 1999 killer cyclone.
The widow from Ambiki village is getting prepared to face the possible strike of cyclone in the next few hours.
She had her lost husband and 10-year-old son in the super cyclone.
For the people now shifted to the safety of cyclone shelters, school, college and panchayat office buildings, images of the cataclysmic super cyclone that impounded the state 14 years back continues to haunt them.
Still settlers in vulnerable pockets are apparently determined to face the emergent situation with grit and determination.
Perceptible fear has taken a firm grip in coastal Odisha as the government agencies are on high alert to cope with exigencies of the situation. Though apprehensive, people armed with preparedness are trying to cope with the situation.
All the sea side villages where the impact of cyclone is apprehended to be maximum are deserted since early morning today as villagers have moved to shelter houses.
"Wind speed is picking up every hour. Standing trees have already become causalities. People have left their houses with livestock", said Bijoy Shukla, former Sarpanch of Ramnagar gram panchyat.
People in these parts which had withstood maximum brunt of 1999 cyclone are not in a mood to take chances this time. Preparedness has gripped the seaside villages.
About 9,885 people had perished as 20-foot-high tidal waves had left trails of devastation in seaside human settlements in Paradip, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara areas in 1999. The administration then was found wanting to counter the situation. People had also taken the cyclone warning lightly and had to pay a heavy price.
"Super cyclone had struck on 29-30 October, 1999 when the puja festivities were in full swing. We are not going to throw caution to the winds as we had done the last time. We will shift to safety on time", said Raghunath Rout, a resident of seaside Dahibara village.
For the 52-year-old widow from Ambiki village, it is another tryst with nature. The survivor of cataclysmic 99-super-cyclone has, however, ignored precautionary warning this time.