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Cyclone Phailin leaves 23 dead, man-made disaster kills 90

Monday, 14 October 2013 - 8:34am IST | Place: Datia/BhopalNew Delhi | Agency: DNA
Nature's fury was diffused at landfall; the calamity in MP should never have taken place.

Rumours spark stampede on a bridge

At least 90 pilgrims were killed and over 100 injured in a stampede, caused by rumours that a bridge they were crossing was about to collapse, on Sunday near a temple at Ratangarh in Datia district.

While more than 40 were killed in stampede, others died of drowning after jumping off a bridge into the nearby Sindh river. There were more than a lakh devotees around the spot, according to eyewitnesses.

“The figure could be more than 90. We are yet to recover bodies from the river,” Chambal range DIG DK Arya said, adding that the stampede was probably sparked by a rumour that the bridge they were crossing was about to collapse.

Some reports suggest that police used batons to control the crowd. The police resorted to mild lathi-charge to control an angry crowd which pelted stones at the cops, injuring many of them.

The state government, with approval of the State Election Commission, has announced an ex-gratia of Rs1.5 lakh to the kin of those killed. The government also announced an assistance of Rs50,000 each to the seriously injured and Rs25,000 each for those who suffered minor injuries. Police officials were on the spot to recover the bodies and send injured to hospital.

Railways suffer Rs 15 cr loss in 24 hours

Power supply in southern India is likely to remain intermittent as railways won’t be able to supply coal to power units there as freight routes to these stations is via Srikakulam, which has been badly hit by cyclone Phailin. Railways have lost more than Rs15 crore in the last 24 hours due to loss of freight as well as passenger traffic.

Representatives said the impact on the steel and coal industry will be severely felt. A clear picture will emerge after some days.

“We mostly serve coal-based power units in South India using the cyclone-affected Srikakulam route. We will not be able to use diesel trains to haul the heavy duty freight rakes as only electric locomotives can haul them. The state government is trying to restore power, but for the next two days, coal supply will remain a challenge,” a senior ministry official told dna.  

The Bokaro Steel Plant in Jharkhand has been on high alert as it mostly gets its coal from Paradip and Visakhapatnam ports, which have been shut down. Three railway zones - East Coast Railway (headquarters in Bhubaneswar), South Central railway (Secunderabad) and Eastern Railway (Kolkata) have been affected by the cyclone.

With trains being cancelled in wake of cyclone Phailin, the railways suffered losses worth Rs15 crore. “So far, we have cancelled 165 trains - passenger and freight - to the region. On account of passenger train and ticket cancellations alone, we lost about Rs12 crore in one day,” said the official. Important trains such as the Bhubaneswar Rajdhani from New Delhi were cancelled for the second day on Sunday.

The loss amount will go up drastically as the railways have yet to account for the losses because of freight operations and expenses towards special arrangements for the cancellation of tickets booked earlier. The railways have been arranging for food, drinking water and medical facilities at the affected stations. Diesel engines have also been positioned at select places.

Houses damaged, many trees uprooted and crops destroyed

Phailin is biggest cyclone witnessed by India in 14 years. It is expected to dissipate in 36 hrs

23 killed in cyclone; toll less thanks to timely evacuations

8.5 million people evacuated in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, one of largest ever

873,000 people spent Saturday night in shelters, some of which were built after a similar storm in 1999. Many others took shelter in schools and temples

200kmph speed of wind, which slowed to 90kmph on Sunday

18 fishermen from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, who were feared missing in Odisha, returned safely on Sunday

Rs 220.89 crore received from central govt under State Disaster Response Fund available for relief and rescue ops

Crew safe after a ship, MV Bingo, sinks in waters of Bay of Bengal

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