Environment

Life thrown out of gear in coastal Odisha as Bulbul comes closer

Sea water enters coastal villages and Paradip port at high tide, inundating them

 
By Ashis Senapati
Last Updated: Saturday 09 November 2019
Sea water enters a coastal village in Odisha. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Daily life has been thrown out of gear in coastal Odisha as Cyclone Bulbul gets ready to hit the eastern coast of India on November 10, 2019.

From seaside villages in the districts of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Bhadrak to the port town of Paradip to the rehabilitation colony of Bagapatiya built for climate refugees from Satabhaya, there was seawater ingress everywhere on November 9, even as gusty winds blew and incessant rains fell.

The villages affected include Batigha, Kharinashi, Ramanagar, Badatubi, Sanatubi, Bagapatia, Kansar, Badasanda, Suniti, Ajagarapatia, Barahapur, Jamboo and Kandarapatia under Mahakalapada and Rajnagar blocks in Kendrapada district.

Ambiki, Dahibara, Balitutha, Chatua, Japa, Krushnachandrapur, Pasmapur, Naradia and other villages under Earasama block of Jagatsinghpur district were also gripped by panic as seawater entered them during high tide. 

A number of mud-walled houses caved in these villages. Many fishermen moved their boats and other fish-gears to safety and abstained from fishing. However, the heavy tides caused damage to many boats, said Kanhu Charan Dhir the additional district magistrate of Jagatsinghpur.

“The authorities have stockpiled dry food, rice and kept medical teams and ambulances on standby and shifted many sick and pregnant women from the villages to hospitals,” Sambeet Satapathy the district emergency officer of Kendrapara, said.

Large numbers of people in the slums of the port town Paradip found their huts under knee-deep water on November 9 and had to take shelter in nearby buildings. Life in the port town came to a halt due to ceaseless rain, Sarat Rout, a resident of the town, said.

Only a small number of buses, trucks, vans and auto-rickshaws came out on the roads on November 9. The auto-rickshaws that braved rainwater charged many times the usual fare. Large areas plunged into darkness as electricity went out due to heavy rains in both the districts.

The rehabilitation colony at Bagapatia built by the government two years back for the coastal erosion-hit residents of Satabhaya Gram Panchayat under Rajnagar block in Kendrapara district is water-logged. 

Large tracks of agricultural land in the villages of Dahibara, Gadaharisapur, Ambiki, Sankha, Kalikuda, Ramatara, Utarapada, Hatiapala, Kunjakothi and Siali under the Earasama block in Jagatsinghpur district were inundated, said Pranab Swain, the chairman of the block.

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