After anticipating a ferocious storm and torrential rains, locals were today relieved that cyclone 'Phailin' had not caused the kind of damage to life and property which they feared.
Harish Chandra Patra, who has a refreshments and snacks shop on the beach, said, "We thought nothing would remain this morning and we would have to start our livelihoods again from scratch. But I think the cyclone has not been able to cause much damage to men and material."
Apart from a few uprooted trees and electricity poles, no major damage was immediately reported this morning after winds of up to 220kmph speed buffeted the area along with heavy showers last night.
The damaged electricity poles meant there was no power in the area while communication lines, too, were affected.
Teams of National Disaster Rescue Force had reached the area to clear access routes and assess the damage following the cyclonic storm.
From morning today, people have been arriving here from nearby areas, including from Berhampur, to see the extent of the damage caused by the cyclone.
"I'd heard much about the cyclone and came especially from Mumbai to see what 'Phailin' was like.
"I'm happy to say that as compared to the damage earlier cyclones have caused, this time, the intensity has been low," said Akash Jena, a software engineer hailing from Berhampur who works in Mumbai.
The Gopalpur seafront is composed of a few shops and some small hotels and resorts standing on the beach itself.
"My shop has been badly damaged in the showers and the wind, but I had promised my customers I would serve them food from today itself.
"Hence, I have opened my shop," said Rahul Kant, who runs a south Indian eatery on the beach.
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