'Bulbul' claims 2 lives in Odisha, extensive damage to crops

'Bulbul' claims 2 lives in Odisha, extensive damage to crops Bhubaneswar, Nov 10 (PTI) Heavy rain and high-velocitywinds triggered by cyclone 'Bulbul' claimed at least two livesand wreaked havoc in most parts of coastal Odisha, officialssaid on Sunday.

A National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnelwas seriously injured during restoration operation in Bhadrakdistrict, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Shyama BhaktaMishra said.

The cyclone also caused extensive damage to crops inthe coastal districts, leaving farmers in the lurch, theofficials said.

Though it skipped Odisha and made landfall betweenWest Bengal and Bangladesh coasts on Saturday, heavy downpourand gale-force winds left a trail of destruction, damaginghundreds of houses, uprooting trees, electric poles andaffecting telecom towers in the state, they said.

While the death of an elderly man was reported earlierowing to wall collapse in Kendrapara on Saturday, anothercasualty due to drowning came to light on Sunday inMahakalapada area of the district, a senior official said.

Manoranjan Prasad, who headed an NDRF unit, was busyclearing uprooted trees in Basuvedpur area when an electricpole fell on him, Mishra said.

He was rushed to a nearby hospital and then shifted toSCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

'#CycloneBulbul - Personally sad that Manoranjan - acolleague of #NDRFamily got serious head/spine injury fromfalling electric pole while clearing fallen trees @Bhadrak.

Pls #Pray4Manoranjan. He needs&deserves it,' NDRF DirectorGeneral Satyanarayan Pradhan said in a tweet.

The authorities had put in place elaboratearrangements to deal with the impact of the cyclonic storm inover 10 of Odisha's 30 districts.

Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasoredistricts bore the maximum brunt and suffered extensive damageto crops, the senior official said.

Around 40 per cent standing crops and over six lakhhectares of cultivable land spread over five districts havebeen damaged due to rain and strong winds triggered by'Bulbul', Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena.

Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central) Anil Samal,who visited several parts of Bhadrak district, said standingcrops in Chabdbali, Dhamra and Basudevpur areas suffered majordamage.

Power supply has been restored in most affected areas,while almost all the roads have been cleared of uprootedtrees, the officials said.

As many as 20 teams of the Odisha Disaster RapidAction Force (ODRAF), six units of the NDRF and 226 fireservices teams were pressed into service in the restorationoperation, they added. PTI CORR SKNRBT RBT