Orissa tornado: five minutes of destruction - The Hindu
At least 12 persons were killed and 150 of people injured due to hail storm and tornado, said official sources.
The natural calamity wrought havoc and left trails of devastation at Rajkanika block of Kendrapara district on 31 March afternnon.
The condition of more than 16 people, including children, women and old persons, was stated to be critical, the official sources said.
"The tornado damaged 300 houses, uprooted a large number of trees and toppled electric poles during its ten-minute spell of fury in 11 villages of five gram panchayats," said Ashok Kumar Meena, Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Central Division.
Mr.Meena after reaching the spot, he reviewed the situation.
S K Panda, Collector and Kumarmani Meher SP has reached the devastated villages and all the injured people have been admitted to government hospitals at Rajkanika and Aul.
The Rajkanika Tahsil Office was reportedly damaged with the office jeep thrown four feet away by the tornado, the sources said.
Winds at an average speed of 200 km per hour swept through the villages, uprooting electric poles and trees, snapping telephone and electric wires followed by heavy hail storm and rain in the area, they said.
Communication network has been damaged due to the tornado.
ODRAF team has been deputed for rescue operations and it will reach by midnight said official sources.
Special Relief Commissioner N K Sundaray has announced 15-days free relief for the victims, though there is provision of 7-days relief in the Orissa Relief Code.
While official report on death toll is 12, recent information received by Ranjan Rout of PRIA reveals that more than 50 people are dead, 200 are severely injured due to the disaster.
Ranjan Rout is available Phone - 0674 - 2421214 Mobile - 09437133753
And more than 1000 houses are completely damaged.
Tornado created havoc within a short time of one and half hours i,e. 4 pm to 5.30 pm on 31 March. http://www.tathya.in/2008/story.asp?sno=2784 The worst affected villages are Mangalpur, Manaidiha in Bharigada Gram Panchayat (GP), Ganja village in Jagulaipada GP, Sebasahi, Mallisahara in Kantapada GP, Dalikaenda and Gobindpur in Dalikaenda GP.
Searching operation is still on and the injured are being shifted to Rajkanika Community Health Centre, and the severely injured people have been shifted to District Hospital at Kendrapara and SCB Medical College& Hospital, Cuttack
The news published in The Hindu is given as under in which updation of information is required. The number of persons dead so far is 20, about 60 people are struggling for their lives in SCB medical college, Cuttack and 50 more in district hospital, Kendrapara. Out of 20 dead, 4 are children and 6 are women. The pregnant women have been tremendously affected by the tornado and some of them are still under treatment. The ANMs have camped in the affected villages and providing necessary health services.
More than thousand families are houseless and under the open sky. The standing kharif crops like paddy. green gram, vegetables, etc of about 20 villages have been completely damaged. More than 150 livestock including poultry birds, goats, buffalo, cows have been lost.
Orissa tornado: five minutes of destruction
Rajkanika (PTI): Concrete roofs ripped off and thrown at a distance, so also a tractor and dozens of houses razed to the ground; all in a matter of five minutes.
A walk through the three km, devastated by a tornado in Rajkanika block of Kendrapara district yesterday afternoon, looked as if it had been bombed, a PTI correspondent visiting the area saw.
The tornado, which had taken a toll of 10 lives and injured over 250 persons in 11 villages, cut a 200 metre swathe for a distance of nearly 3 km, destroying everything in its path.
In Ganja village with about 500 houses, one of the worst hit, concrete roofs were ripped off and flung at a distance of 25 to 30 feet, while there were no trace of thatched houses.
But incredibly enough, villages located hardly 200 metres away, remained untouched.
"I was standing outside my house when it suddenly became very dark and a strong wind started blowing. I could see a huge column of black cloud spiralling towards me about 2 km away," Ashok Panda, a resident of Baghabuda village, said.
As the funnel shaped monster sped towards the villages, it started to rain accompanied by hailstorm.
"It looked like the trunk of an elephant touching the ground advancing our village at high speed. I rushed inside and could see through the window a tractor coming to the village lifted up to a height of about 20 feet," he recalled.
The tractor crashed killing its driver Bishnu Charan Nayak. Panda said "I saw bullock carts and roofs flying in the air. But my house, which was only a few feet away, escaped the whirlwind."
Chittaranjan Mohanty, Kendrapara district Vice-President of the BJP, who was driving towards Rajkanika in a jeep for election campaign also had a terrible experience to share.
"Six of us were travelling in a jeep when the whirlwind struck. A Tata Sumo, which was travelling ahead of us overturned. We immediately jumped out and huddled on the ground," Mohanty said.
Saroj Kumar Behera, a resident of Dalikanda village, said he saw a boat with six persons being plucked into the air and thrown down killing three.
The other three were being treated at the government hospital at Aul for fractures.
Most people said the destruction was wrought between 4.30 p.m. and 4.45 p.m.
A wall clock, found lying in Ganja village, had stopped at 4.31 p.m., suggesting the time when it happened.
Debris were strewn all over while most trees, which fell in the tornado's path, had their top chopped off. Clothes and parts of thatched roofs were found stuck to treetops at many places.
The mud houses in the affected villages were completely razed to the ground.
The block office and post office at Rajkanika, the block headquarter, were badly damaged.
After the destruction stopped, people from neighbouring villages rushed to help the affected and took them to hospital.
Search was on for at least four missing persons, officials said.
The worst hit villages included Ganja, Baghabuda, Gobindapur, Muneidiha, Ustia, Barda, Taila and Dalikanda, all thickly populated and close to the Bhitarkanika National Park. The area is about 15 km from the sea coast.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the area this morning to take stock of the situation.
The administration was making arrangements to provide cooked food to the affected people for three days.
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