Bhubaneshwar, October 13: At least 12 people died after a rockslide triggered by Cyclone Titli crumbled their shelter in a cave near a hillock in Odisha's Gajapati district on Thursday. Four other people have gone missing after being swept away by the rockslide. 12 bodies were recovered late Friday night, Rayagada block chairman Dhaleswar Bhuyan said.
At least 22 tribals Baraghara village of Gajapati’s Rayagada block had taken shelter in a cave near their village. They were forced to take refuge in a cave after gale force wind blew away the roofs of their huts, Hindustan Times reported quoting local media. However, the hillock caved in due to incessant rain and resulted in a rockslide that swept away 16 of them. Cyclone Titli: Odisha Govt Cancels Leaves, Govt Holidays for Officials.
The tragedy came to light when villagers who survived informed the district administration about it. According to Bhuyan, the victims alleged the district collector nor the officials of local police didn't provide any help despite their SOS calls. Agitated over lack of attention by the administration, the villagers refused to cremate the bodies.
Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, however, said the district administration was trying to reach the remote village. “We were more focused on the damages to coastal areas. This particular village is located far away from the coast and was not within the 20-km immediate impact zone of the cyclone,” Sethi was quoted as saying.
While the Cyclone Titli didn't claim any life in Odisha, 21 deaths were reported due to the resultant floods following incessant rainfall in the state.