Gajapati Landslide Deaths: Victims’ Families Were Asked To Shift From Village Before Cyclone Titli’s Landfall But They Refused, Says SRC

**Bhubaneswar: ** A new angle has come to the fore regarding the 15 landslide deaths in Gajapati that has taken everyone by surprise. According to Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, the victims’ families had been asked to evacuate the village before the landfall of cyclone ‘Titli’, however they had refused.

Briefing the media today, he said, “Preliminary report suggests that the Block Chairman and the Executive Engineer had asked the people in the remote hamlet of Barghar in Gangabada Panchayat to shift from the village before Titli’s wrath. While 68 families had paid heed to the advice and had evacuated on time, 6-7 families had refused to shift from the village.”

“Members of those families have been victims in this unfortunate incident. Meanwhile, a detailed report is still awaited,” Sethi added.

An ex-gratia Rs 4 lakh will be provided to the deceased persons’ next of kin as soon as the report is given to us, informed Sethi.

15 bodies have already been recovered from the spot and post-mortem of 13 has been done, informed a senior police official today.

Reportedly, some persons of Barghar village in Gangabada Panchayat under Rayagad block’s Garabandha police limits had taken shelter inside a cave in a hill in the fear of the severe cyclonic storm ‘Titli’.

However, the hill suffered a landslide on Friday night due the torrential rains and as a result several persons got crushed under the debris.

**Also Read:** [Gajapati Landslide Deaths: Rescue Team Recovers 15 Bodies, Post-Mortems In Progress](