Titli claims 21 lives in Odisha, CM Naveen condoles deaths
Bhubaneswar: After unverified reports suggested that 21 people have died in Odisha in the aftermath of Cyclone Titli, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday offered condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Though the state government is struggling to verify the number of deaths, most of the casualties have reportedly happened in a landslide, triggered by the cyclone, at a village in Gajapati district.
In a tweet, Naveen said, “The tragic incident of landslide in Gajapati has been most unfortunate. I extend my deepest condolences to the bereaved families.”
On the other hand, special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said, “We have asked the district collector of Gajapati to visit the village and verify the reported deaths. We are waiting for a detailed report.”
Earlier, there were reports that more than 20 people from Baraghara village of Gajapati had taken shelter in a cave during Friday’s heavy downpour. Out of the 20, 16 were reportedly trapped in the landslide. Prior to this, the government had been maintaining that there were no casualties either during or after the cyclone, which hit the state on Thursday morning. Sethi said officials were taking long to verify the deaths because road connectivity to the village, which lies in a hilly region, was snapped after many trees got uprooted and fell on roads.
During the day, the CM made an aerial survey of the affected areas in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts and announced distribution of relief there for the next 15 days. A government report said more than 45 lakh people in 11 districts were affected.