Odisha remembers devastating 1999 Super Cyclone

ମହାବାତ୍ୟାକୁ ପୂରିଲା ୧୮ ବର୍ଷ ! ଏବେ ବି ଆତ୍ମୀୟ ସ୍ୱଜନଙ୍କୁ ଝୁରୁଛନ୍ତି ମୃତକଙ୍କ ପରିବାର


Though 18 years have elapsed since the devastating Super Cyclone, Odisha has learnt lessons the hard way to deal with natural calamities.

On 29th October 1999, the Super Cyclone , also known as Paradip Cyclone, hit Odisha with wind speeds of up to 250 kmph.  It caused the deaths of about 10,000 people, and heavy to extreme damage in its path of destruction. Often termed as the black Friday tragedy, the cyclone flattened lakhs of houses, uprooted trees and destroyed infrastructure. Thousands of livestock were killed, paddy and other crop fields were submerged and hundred thousands of people were affected by the disaster. Life in the coastal Orissa was brought to a standstill. Large areas along the coastline were inundated. The cyclone destroyed or caused damage to lives and properties in the coastal districts such as Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Ganjam.

A white paper on the loss and damage profile of the 1999 super cyclone prepared by the State Government in 2000 stated that there were 9,885 human casualties. The paper estimated that 13 lakh hectares of paddy crop, 1.76 lakh hectares of vegetables and 2.57 lakh hectares of other crops were destroyed. The disaster destroyed 22,143 fishing nets and 9,085 boats causing great loss in the lives of fisher folk community. The aftermath of cyclone also saw major loss of livestock in the cyclone affected area. The report of the government put the loss of cattle heads at 3,15,886, poultry at 18,83,468 and other small animals at 3,16,372.

It may be mentioned here that the official toll then was 9, 885, whereas the unofficial figures were above 50, 000. Jagatsinghpur district was the worst affected as the storm had its landfall between Ersama and Balikuda. Of the total fatality, Jagatsinghpur district alone had accounted for 8,119 people.

According to reports, at least 13 million people, including 3.3 million children, 5 million women and nearly 3.5 million elderly people were affected.

This was the brief about the cyclone.

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