Berhampur: Severe cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ has left an everlasting impact on the residents of Barghar in Gangabada panchayat in Rayagada block of Gajapati district with the death of at least 15 persons following a landslide.
While 13 bodies were recovered from the mishap site Saturday, two more bodies were recovered Sunday. The toll could increase further as four others are feared trapped under the debris. Some houses and other structures were also damaged in the landslide.
The deceased were identified as Dandapani Bhuyan, Sumitra Bhuyan, Somanath Kathren, Jagan Kathi, Minakshi Shabar, Gangadhara Behera, Dinesh Bhuyan, Lalu Behera, Jayachandra Bhutan, Suramati Jani and Champa Bhutan.
A pall of gloom descended on the village as the bodies were being recovered from the debris.
There were rumours of people vacating the village after the mishap. Locals feared to stay back in the ‘haunted’ village. Many families have already shifted to their relatives’ houses. Things seem to never become normal for the villagers.
“I just wish it was a nightmare. I can’t believe they are not with us. I don’t know whom to blame,” a relative of one of the deceased said with tears rolling down his cheeks.
The last rites of the deceased will be conducted after post-mortem and other formalities.
The landslide occurred while some villagers had taken shelter in a cave following very heavy rain trigged by Titli Thursday evening.
“While the bodies of 15 persons have been recovered, four are feared trapped under the debris,” Gajapati Superintendent of Police Amulya Das said, adding the rescue operation was still on.