Lauding the Odisha government’s efforts in reducing human deaths during Phailin, the United Nations has decided to highlight Odisha’s example globally, said special representative of the UN Secretary General for disaster risk reduction Margareta Wahlstrom.
“The role of media was laudable for dissemination of information among people about the cyclone,” said the UN secretary general.
After an on-the spot visit, the UN representative said, “It appears from the damaged structures in the affected areas that damages were severe.”
At the same time she also appreciated the government for undertaking restoration activities promptly.
Wahlstrom, who interacted with the corporators of Berhampur Municipal Corporation about cyclone Phailin, wanted to know the difference between the super cyclone of 1999 and cyclone Phailin. She also inquired about how casualties could be reduced from 9985 in 1999 to 21 in 2013.
She also concluded that timely dissemination of information about the severity of the cyclone and prompt evacuation of people from the coastal areas helped in reduction of human losses.
“We have started work on documenting the Odisha success story and would highlight it as an example at an international conference in 2015,” Wahlstrom said during an interaction with journalists at The Press Club of Odisha.
“It is easy to talk about problems and failures. We have to bring into people’s minds what works,” she opined, praising Odisha’s success in keeping the death toll during Phailin to 21.
Hailing the Odisha government for effective preparedness ahead of the cyclone, the UN had yesterday honoured Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by presenting a citation as a mark of recognition.