Evacuees return to houses as cyclone moves towards Jharkhand

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Kendrapara (Odisha), May 27 (PTI) With cyclone Yaas weakening into a depression and moving towards Jharkhand, the evacuees sheltered in different cyclone-resilient shelters have started returning home with outdoor exposure and fear of contracting COVID-19 remaining uppermost in their minds.

A large number of people in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts had left for their houses on Wednesday while others returned on Thursday morning. The intensity of cyclone Yaas being on lesser scale and sparing major parts of the coastal and northern Odisha, the worst fear of anticipated devastation, loss of life and property did not come true.

Ensuring COVID-19 protocol, the authorities had managed to evacuate 6.5 lakh people including around one lakh people from Kendrapara to the safety of shelter buildings despite initial hesitancy and reluctance of evacuees.

'We were in no hurry. We returned home today morning after the weather became completely normal. It was safer to spend the night yesterday night at the cyclone shelter', remarked Samrendra Rout, a native of Talchua in Kendrapara district.

The safety of life remained the principal concern of one and all. People invariably in all parts of the state waited for the improved weather to return home.

'The cyclone's impact was experienced. But it was not on a larger scale. Nature has spared us. We are lucky. But we have opted for safety by shifting to shelter buildings since yesterday afternoon. As there is no further threat of cyclone making a re-curve to our villages, we are planning to head for home', said Pradyot Giri, a resident of seaside Kansara Badadandua village in Mahakalapada block of Kendrapara district.

'As the cyclone threat no longer persists, we are leaving for home. The government agencies had done the needful providing food, masks and sanitizers to us in view of the coronavirus scare. However, social distancing could not be maintained because of overcrowding,' he added. PTI COR AAM RG RG