Bhubaneswar: Since the Super Cyclone 1999, Odisha has come a long way by improving its disaster management efficiently.
Odisha, which once known for its mismanagement of natural disaster, is now setting global benchmarks in disaster management by proving itself a model state in disaster preparedness and risk mitigation.
Despite the incessant rain, the state government has tackled the situation by strengthening early warning mechanism and school safety.
So far no casualty or numerous wall/house collapses has been reported in the state though the state has witnessed more rainfall than that of during Super Cyclone in 1999 and Phailin in 2013.
The United Nations in October, 2013 had appreciated the state government’s preparedness in dealing with cyclone Phailin, saying it would highlight the efforts as a successful case study globally.
Terming the evacuation of nearly one million people, which ensured minimal loss of human lives, a landmark success story, special representative of the UN secretary general for disaster risk reduction Margareta Wahlstrom had said, “We are very impressed. We have plans to use it as a model for other cities and countries to follow as part of our global efforts on disaster risk reduction.”
In April this year, the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee (DPSC) on Home Affairs had suggested other states to follow Odisha model of preparedness and disaster management to tackle any natural disaster.
Hailing Odisha Government’s strategic shifting of focus from mitigation to management during cyclone Phailin in 2013 and Hud Hud in 2014 after a huge loss of 1999 super cyclone, the Centre had asked other states to take a leaf from Odisha’s strategy.
Appreciating the efforts of the State Government for exemplary tackling of both the cyclones, the Committee observed that various organisations, including National Disaster Management Authority and World Bank had appreciated the efforts of Odisha Government.
On June 29, the Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (OSDMA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Regional Integrated Multi-Hazard Early Warning System (RIMES), an UN-registered agency, to strengthen early warning system for effective management of disasters in the state.
A rainfall of 622 mm has been recorded on July 22 at the Master Control Room of Hirakud Dam Project located at Burla, Odisha. This is the highest ever rainfall recorded in any station in Odisha as ascertained from the India Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar.
This has crossed the previous highest rainfall record of 581.9 mm recorded by the IMD’s rain gauge station at Sambalpur on 19th August, 1992.