By Tenzin Sangmo
H.H. the Dalai Lama with Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik in 2017. Photo_Twitter_CM Naveen Patnaik
DHARAMSHALA, May 6: His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote to the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, in the wake of cyclone Fani, expressing his solidarity with the people affected and contributed Rupees 10 lakh (one Million) from the Dalai Lama trust toward the relief effort.
In the letter, His Holiness lauded the swift actions taken by the state government in evacuating people that lessened the number of casualties.
More than 1 million people from about 15,000 villages and 46 towns were evacuated.
The number of casualty stands at 34 so far and is expected to rise in the next 48 hours as the state assesses the full impact of this rare cyclone with winds gusting up to 200 km per hour when it made landfall in Puri district on Friday.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama offered his condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and offered his prayers for the welfare of everyone affected by this cyclone.
The special relief commissioner's office said that Cyclone Fani affected overall 10.7 million people across 11 districts. Phuntsokling Tibetan settlement in Gajapati district located more than 100 km off the coast is not affected byn the cyclone.
The Chief Minister announced on Sunday that the state will help rebuild damaged houses on a priority while offering financial aid of Rupees 95,000 to each of the families whose houses have been damaged completely.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of the cyclone-affected areas today and praised the “good planning” by the Chief Minister who accompanied him.
The Centre has released 1,000 crores as cyclone assistance to Odisha. West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh were the other states affected.