Cyclone Phailin. (Photo Credit: NASA, MODIS/LANCE)
Post-Phailin floods cause shrimp farmers' huge loss
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 01:00 (GMT + 9)
After the devastation caused by the cyclone Phailin, the state of Odisha is now having to fight heavy floods which have caused serious financial loss to the local shrimp industry.
As a consequence of this natural disaster, shrimp farmers have estimated a loss amounting to INR 3.5 billion (USD 57.1 million), the Business Standard reported.
"The overall loss in farming due to inundation of farm lands is in the range of 300-350 crore rupees," vice president, Odisha Shrimp Farmers' Association, Manoranjan Panda stated.
A heavy cyclone-induced downpour which caused rivers Budhabalunga, Subarnarekha, Baitarani, Rushikulya and Bansadhara to overflow, has seriously affected the regions of Keonjhar, Balasore, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur and Nayagarh, threatening the lives of millions of locals in south-central and northern Odisha.
Panda pointed out that farm lands near Subarnarekha, Budhabalanga and Jalaka rivers were the most seriously devastated.
Revenue & Disaster Management Minister, S. N. Patro, pointed out, following a special review meeting, that: "Though the cyclone has stepped out of the state, four blocks in Balasore are in the grip of a massive flood. Teams of National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and Army personnel have been deployed to the affected areas to carry out relief and rescue work."
"Choppers will also be pressed into service for the air dropping of food packets," Patro added.
Over one million locals were evacuated because of the floods, the highest figure ever recorded. In the district of Balasore, 68,000 people were stranded in the Remuna, Baleswar Sadar, Bhograi and Jaleswar areas.
About 80 per cent of the total shrimp farming comes from that district.
It is estimated that 23,000 tonnes of seafood worth INR 8.86 billion (USD 144.5 million) was exported from Odisha during the fiscal year 2012-13 to several countries, which include the US, Japan and European countries.
By Gabriela Raffaele