Cyclone FANI Impact: Cyclone Shelters & Free Kitchens Come To People’s Rescue

Bhubaneswar/Cuttack: Homeless and evacuated people in over 825 cyclone centres breathed a heavy sigh of relief as they were served breakfast when Cyclone FANI made landfall in Puri today morning. With wind speed gusting over 100 kmph in several parts of Odisha, over 10 lakh people felt safe amidst four walls of the shelters they had been shifted to. About 5000 kitchens across Odisha are operating to serve people in the shelters.

In Bhubaneswar alone, the BMC has identified 132 cyclone shelters in its 67 wards, which has been classified into 13 sectors. Around 55,000 people from low-lying areas and slums have been evacuated to these shelters. One nodal officer from the BDA of BMC has been deployed in each shelter along with an assisting officer from education department. Besides, a team of health department has also been deployed at each shelter for emergency purpose.

Homeless persons who were rescued on Thursday were served breakfast in the shelters today. People lined up in queue to get their serving and calm their hunger as well as fear. In Cuttack, over 1 lakh people were evacuated and 13,000 biscuit packets, 10 quintal flattened rice (chura) has been already distributed. Similarly, residents of Krushnaprasad block of Puri also appreciated the early action of evacuation by Odisha administration. In Ganjam and Puri, more than 3 lakh and 1.3 lakh people were evacuated respectively. 

While all in attendance consumed the food, teams of district administration in all places and BDA-BMC in capital city were on the ground to check if more people needed to be evacuated. In the temporary shelters, people were also given adequate supply of medicine and dry food as per requirement and availability. 

Public representatives and NGOs have also been involved to spread awareness among people about the cyclone shelters and motivate the vulnerable people to go to the shelters where free kitchen service started from last evening.

It is notable to mention here that Odisha Government had launched a massive evacuation drive to shift over 11 lakh people to safety before the landfall of extremely severe Cyclone FANI.