Three dead in Odisha due to cyclone: NDRF

New Delhi, Oct 13 : The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Sunday confirmed the death of three people in Odisha due to the cyclonic strom Phailin.

However, there have been reports that at least seven people lost their lives ahead of the cyclone making landfall as trees uprooted due to strong winds fell on the people.

"We have received reports of three deaths from the villages around Ganjam district in Odisha," Sandeep Rai Rathore, National Disaster Response Force Inspector General, told IANS.

Earlier, while talking to a television channel, National Disaster Response Force chief Krishna Chowdhary had confirmed that the areas of Ganjam and Gopalpur in Odisha and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh were the worst hit due to Phailin as forecast.

"National Disaster Response Force teams had started working as soon as the velocity of the rain and the wind came down. Around 12,000 personnel are deployed in Odisha and 600 in Andhra Pradesh," Chowdhary said.

"The effort now is to clear the debris. However, the restoration would be a time-consuming exercise," Chowdhary added.

Cyclonic storm Phailin Saturday night slammed the Indian east coast near Gopalpur in Odisha, triggering heavy rains and strong winds with speed reaching up to 200 km an hour.

Over 4.5 lakh people in Odisha and 1.29 lakh people in north coastal Andhra Pradesh were evacuated to safer places. This is said to be one of the biggest evacuation operation in recent times.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and the National Disaster Response Force were now engaged in rescue and relief work.

--IANS (Posted on 13-10-2013)

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