Berhampur, Oct 11 (LocalWire): The devastation caused by the cyclonic storm Titli, which hit Gajapati two years ago, haunts the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh border district as yet another cyclonic storm is brewing in the Bay of Bengal, predicting heavy rainfall in the southern Odisha district by the met department.
Severe cyclonic storm Titli which made landfall in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh on the October 11, 2018 had wreaked havoc in Gajapati district wiping out almost 20 villages and claiming at least 48 lives. It rendered more than 9100 families homeless.
Panic gripped the residents as the district administration issued a warning of heavy rainfall from Sunday under the influence of the low pressure.
“The people residing in the hill top areas and landslide vulnerable areas must be ready to shift to safer places like the nearby school or anganwadi centers,” said district collector Anupam Saha.
District administration has identified 81 vulnerable villages in 36 panchayats of five blocks, sources said.
“We are yet to repair the damages caused by Titli. Another cyclonic storm, on the same day after two years will be devastating to us,” said former Sarpanch of Gangabad panchayat Haribandhu Karjee.
“We pray to God not to repeat such a disaster once again,” said Raita Sabar of Suba in Kainpur panchayat.
The district administration said that the infrastructure facilities which had been damaged due to the Titli have already been repaired.
While the government had sanctioned funds for construction of the houses which were damaged in the cyclone, under Biju Pucca Ghara Yojana (BPGY), 7168 have already been completed, while rest of the houses are under construction, sources said.
As many as 12 fully destroyed villages in Rayagada and R. Udayagiri blocks with households of 520 located in the hilltops, have already been shifted to the newer and safer places.
Other infrastructure facilities like anganwadi centers (362), school buildings (395), power restoration (1525 villages) and rural road of 184-km have been repaired during the period, sources said.
The compensation to the family members of the deceased (Rs 12 lakhs) has already been provided, sources added.