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First Person: Survivor recalls night of horror


SachikantOST Bureau

Brahmapur, Oct 21:

“That night was terrifying. Every moment, I apprehended that the three storied building could collapse any moment; moving out too was equally frightening as heavy rains accompanied with gale lashed the building without a respite. A security guard of the divisional stores department was my only company. Both of us took shelter in a room in the ground floor. Suddenly at around 36 minutes past 11, there was a deafening sound as if a mountain had crashed on the building, it was followed by thunder bursts; the entire building swayed as it would have done in an earthquake. We rushed out to save our lives and discovered that the 280 ft high microwave tower in the backyard had collapsed on the building. Sparks were flying from the collapsed tower. Without losing a moment, I switched off the generator and the engine and both I and the security guard took shelter in the store room. Every moment I felt the building will collapse on us”.

This is what Sachikant Behera, working as an electric man at the office of the microwave section of the BSNL at Brahmangar, has to tell about his experience on the fateful night Cyclone Phailin crossed the Gopalpur coast.

Sachikant hails from Khordha district and has been working here since last six years. He and the security guard of divisional stores G Banamali were on duty on the night Cyclone Phailin hit the Ganjam coast.

“We were upstairs after having our dinner at around 11 pm. Outside, the wind was blowing heavily and there was power cut. Fifty year old Banamali was scared and was losing his patience fast. So, we moved downstairs and half an hour later heard a tremendous thud enough to scare us to death. The microwave tower in the backyard had collapsed on the building shattering and crashing the SDO-II office room’s roof and walls upstairs,” said Sachikant.

He and Banamali took shelter in the store room till it was morning next day.

“I thanked God at the break of dawn for saving my life. Next, I called up a friend and told him that I was alive and kicking” said Sachikant expressing his gratitude to God for the miracle that saved him from the clutches of death.