Srikakulam Devastated, Cyclone Phailin,
- Two persons dead
- Roads, electric poles, crops and houses damaged
- Four mandals remain without power supply
- About 500 trees uprooted; 500-year-old tree crashes
- Train passengers at Palasa face hardships
- NDRF teams take up relief work
Srikakulam: Cyclone Phailin, while crossing APOdisha coast late on Saturday night, caused extensive damage to roads, electric poles, paddy crop and coconut plantations in the district. Normal life has been affected in Ichapuram, Kaviti, Sompeta and Mandasa mandals, which are close to Odisha border. Thousands of acres of farmlands in Raktakanna, Telukunchi, Masakapuram, Innesupeta and M Thoturu villages in Ichchapuram mandal were submerged. Two persons, Chakali Appanamma (66) of Buddapupet village, in Ichapuram mandal, and Adayya (27) of Chinnakarripalem village died.
Appanamma died due to collapse of a wall, while Adayya could not withstand the effect of the cyclone at a rehabilitation centre in Kaviti on Sunday morning. In all, 17 lorries capsized on the Purushothapuram- Barampur road. Salt in thousands of acres in border villages of Sumadi and Sarla melted due to the devastation. Many birds from Siberia (which migrate to Telukunchi village during June- February) died during the last two days. Many railway passengers bound for Odisha were stranded in Palasa station, following cancellation of several trains. About 200 passengers of the Tirupati-Puri Express faced severe hardship as the train was stopped in Palasa.
They pleaded with the railway officials to provide at least water to fill their stomach. About 500 trees, including the famous 500-year-old tamarind tree in Kanthiligara village of Tekkali mandal, were uprooted in the storm. Residents of Kanthiligara are depressed following the mishap, considering that the king who ruled the area in days of yore is said to have named the village after the tree. Strong gales damaged about 100 houses in coastal villages. Several villages, including Innisupeta, Masakapuram, Birlangi, Toturu, Bodagadda, Donkuru, Sivakrishnapuram, Chinna Lakshmipuram and Pedda Lakshmipuram, were inundated. Four mandals are without power, as electric poles were uprooted. Work to restore power supply is likely to take two days. Crops in hundreds of acres were inundated after the Gangasagaram tank in J Manikyapuram village breached. Officials said paddy crop in 3,000 acres at Donkuru and 850 hectares in Kaviti mandal were submerged.
Coconut plantations in the mandal were destroyed. People in the district have been raising cashew, mango, banana and jackfruit, after having suffered heavily in the 1999 cyclone. They were just about recovering when Phailin struck. Several main roads in fishermen’s villages of Iddivanipalem and Kalingapatnam were washed away in heavy floods. In Vajrapukolthur mandal, coconut, cashew, mango and jackfruit plantations in 950 acres were damaged, according to preliminary official estimates. Coconut trees in about 2,000 acres and paddy in 1,000 acres have been damaged. Residents in the mandal are facing severe hardships for access to drinking water due to disruption in power supply over the last three days. In Gara mandal, several fishing nets and boats were swept away by high tides.
The Fisheries Department deputy director Yakub Basha assured the distraught fishermen that he would approach the government to secure compensation for their losses. Members of nine National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, police and local officials have taken up cyclone relief measures. The NDRF team members removed uprooted trees in Bulliputtaka, Varaka, Borivanka and Jagati villages. Residents of Donkuru who had been removed to rehabilitation centres in Ichapuram and those residing in Vatsavalasa and Bandaruvanipeta centres are returning to their villages.