PM praises tackling of cyclone Phailin, not Uttarakhand floods

New Delhi, Oct 28 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday praised the tackling of Cyclone Phailin by the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh governments and disaster management agencies but said there were "important lessons to be learnt" from the Uttarakhand rain-flood tragedy that left hundreds dead and many missing.

The Congress rules Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh, but is in the opposition in Odisha.

Addressing the 5th meeting of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) here, the prime minister said: "We have witnessed two major disasters recently in our country - the tragedy of Uttarakhand and cyclone Phailin which affected Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

"The rains and floods in Uttarakhand resulted in large scale devastation and severely tested the efficacy of our disaster response mechanisms."

"There are important lessons to be learnt from the experience gained from the rescue and relief operations that were carried out. I sincerely hope that all the concerned agencies of the central and state governments will utilize the experience of Uttarakhand in better management of disasters that we may face in the future."

He said the response to the cyclone in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh "has been encouraging".

"I am happy that the NDMA played a significant role in this response through close engagement and coordination with various central government agencies, the state government and even the district administration."

"It was only because of collaboration between different agencies that the daunting task of evacuating nearly 10 lakh people in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh was accomplished in a timely manner and with minimal loss of human lives," he said.

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