Cyclone Phailin: Odisha helpline numbers

At a time when sea surge makes spectacular background, a single click of photograph would have earned us five times a photograph costs in normal time, but we have chosen to be guides than being professional beach photographers, says A. Narayan Rao.

Narayan Rao is one among over 50 photographers who are now in forefront of turning enthusiastic tourists away from visiting dangerous beach of Puri.

“Most of the photographers belong to fishermen community who earn their livelihood by clicking photographs of tourists those visit beach every day. Hailing from fishermen community, we have natural ability in manoeuvring in turbulent sea and can rescue tourists in distress,” maintains Mr. Rao, adding that, “we have now let our skill coming into play.”

Similarly, G. Siba, who had experienced 1999 Super Cyclone and seen loss of lives in that calamity, says, “people are over enthusiastic to come nearer to beach which will prove to be very risky venturing. We cannot see tourists losing precious lives just for momentary excitement.”

Just an hour ago, Puri district administration has closed all the routes leading to the beach. The administration has taken help of Nolias (fishermen) for rescue operation as well as making people aware of the situation.”

Puri town has a seven kilometre long beach being flaked by hotels. Annually, around 60 tourists lose lives by drowning. The situation has turned more precarious as PHAILIN has started to make sea stormy.

Dillip, a volunteer of St John Ambulance, said although district administration imposed a ban on visiting beach, curious tourists were managing to go very near to the beach. Meanwhile, waves have started to touch marine drive of the Puri and panicked and stranded tourists have confined them to their respective rooms.