Floods create misery for 22 lakh people in the district; more number of houses collapse
The Phailin cyclone may have drawn more attention but the incessant rains and the floods after that caused more devastation in Ganjam district.
If the official data is to be believed then the total population affected by the Phailin cyclone in Ganjam district was 3.5 lakh. But the subsequent heavy rains for the six days from October 22 to 26 and floods due to that caused miseries to around 22 lakh people in the district. Cyclone had its immediate devastating effect but the plight caused by the rains and floods continued for almost a week.
The rains and floods also caused more damages to houses than the Phailin. As per the initial report, 1,64,629 houses had been damaged in the district by the cyclonic storm. But the number of houses damaged by the rains and floods was higher at 1,79,205.
More number of houses collapsed during the continuous rains as they had been damaged by the cyclone and could not withstand the rain and floods. It was expected that the number of houses damaged would increase as the water soaked walls are likely to collapse.
The loss to the veterinary sector was also high during the rains and floods in comparison to the cyclone. Number of cattle killed due to the cyclone was 1,059 but the heavy rains led to death of 2,945 cattle. Similarly, death of backyard poultry birds was also high due to the floods and rains at 3,49,895 while 2,16,184 of these birds had died during the cyclone. The cyclone had led to crop loss in 2,93,900 hectares in the district. As a large section of crop damage had already occurred the crop loss due to rains and floods occurred only at places where it had survived, which was in about 51,566 hectares. But the floods caused a great devastation to agricultural fields which had not been done by the cyclone.
Due to the floods, around 1,000 hectares of agricultural land got sand-casted, making it unsuitable for agriculture in future.
It can be said that the losses and problems caused by the Phailin cyclone multiplied because of the rains and floods.