About 350 kms of beach in Odisha has been washed away by the raging sea in the recent Cyclone Phailin on October 12 this year.
It may be noted that the Chennai-based Anna University had conducted a survey on the erosion-prone beaches in the state in 2009. In its report, it was stated that out of a total of 481 km of beach areas of the state, there has been rapid erosion in about 215 kms of beach (about 45 per cent).
According to unofficial sources, about 350 kms of beach stretching from Satabhaya to Gopalpur has been completely eroded due to the Phailin onslaught.
While the report had stated that about 5.93 percent of the total beach areas in the state has become a matter of grave concern, the rate of erosion has, in the meanwhile, gone up to about 25 percent.
Apart from the beaches, human habitations situated at a distance of 5 km from the beach are also under serious threat, which was evident after the Phailin wreaked devastation in these areas.
More than 450 human habitations situated in these zones have been devastated by the recent cyclone.
Considering the gravity of the situation, the need of the hour for the state government is to prepare a long-term action plan for the safety of the people of these areas.