Bhubaneswar, Dec 20:
Margaret Wahlstrom, the special representative of UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon for Disaster Risk Reduction, on Friday presented a citation to the Odisha government for its effective handling of Cyclone Phailin in October this year. Odisha is the first state in South East Asia to be felicitated for disaster management.
Speaking after presenting the citation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a function in the state secretariat this morning, Wahlstrom praised the efforts of the state government in meeting the challenge of cyclone effectively and keepings human casualties to a minimum. She invited Patnaik to participate in the global conference on disaster management to be organised by the UN in 2015.
In his acceptance speech, Patnaik attributed the success in facing the cyclone to the people of the state. “The credit for the success of Phailin management goes to the brave people of Odisha, who rose to the occasion in spite of all odds and faced the calamity with inspiring courage,” he said. The citation was in recognition of the combined efforts of all, including officials and the media, he said.
The Chief Minister had a special word of thanks for the meteorological department for its accurate prediction of the storm which he said helped the state prepare for the disaster better. “We want to prepare a long term disaster risk reduction plan and climate change action plan for our state and we are now poised to implement it in the coming years,” Patnaik said.
Earlier, additional chief secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Taradutt made a video presentation for the visiting UN delegation on the preparations by the state government for Cyclone Phailin.
Several ministers and senior officials were present on the occasion.