Berhampur: Happy over reduction of human losses during cyclone Phailin, the United Nations on Saturday appreciated media`s role during the disaster which hit the Odisha coast on the night of October 12.
"The role of media was laudable for dissemination of information among people about the cyclone," said the UN secretary general`s special representative for disaster risk reduction Margareta Wahlstrom here.
Stating that media played a strong, positive and responsive role during the cyclone, Wahlstorm said "We hope in future also media continues to play a role."
Wahlstrom, who interacted with the corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation about cyclone Phailin, wanted to know the difference between the super cyclone of 1999 and cyclone Phailin. She also inquired about how casualties could be reduced from 9985 in 1999 to 21 in 2013.
She also concluded that timely dissemination of information about the severity of the cyclone and prompt evacuation of people from the coastal areas helped in reduction of human losses.
The UN representative visited the cyclone ravaged
Matikhala, Gopalpur, Berhampur University, Nua Golabandh and a slum pocket in Berhampur town.
She also interacted with the cyclone-affected people in these areas and the corporators of the Berhampur Municipal Corporation (BMC) besides meeting vice chancellor of Berhampur University Deepak Kumar Behera.
"The team effort of our district personnel, who toiled hard round the clock before the cyclone strike and after the disaster, made possible the quick restoration work, district collector Krishan Kumar told the UN representative.
The collector of Ganjam district informed the UN representative that timely evacuation of people from the coastal villages within five-km distance from the coast, was one of the factors that helped reduce human casualty.
Of the total 21 number of people killed in the cyclone Phailin, highest 13 persons had lost their lives in Ganjam district.
While almost all the roads to the block headquarters were cleared within 48 hours of the cyclone in the district with the help of the personnel from National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha disaster rapid action force (ODRAF), forest and police persons, relief was also distributed to the victims during that period.
The district administration of Ganjam has also taken up a time-bound programme for restoration work of different departments, the sources said.