Cyclone Fani paralyzed life in Odisha
Life remained paralysed on Saturday, a day after ‘extremely severe’ Cyclone Fani, ripped through eight districts of Odisha. Initial reports suggested 20 people had died due to collapse of walls, trees and electric poles. The Office of Special Relief Commissioner, however, had no official information to validate the death toll. Lakhs of people have been affected, and the State government has launched massive rescue and restoration operations. After clearing road blockades along National and State highways, personnel from the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and National Disaster Response Force have started moving to villages.
Lakhs of people have been affected, and the State government has launched massive rescue and restoration operations.
As communication networks are not in place, the extent of damage could not be ascertained. Energy infrastructure has suffered a massive damage in the region. Failure of mobile connectivity has added to the chaos. The Office of Special Relief Commissioner, however, said the first priority was to admit injured people to hospitals and restore power.
Cyclone Fani batters Odisha
Cyclone Fani barrelled through Odisha, unleashing copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, blowing away thatched houses, and swamping towns and villages, officials said. The extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ or the ‘Hood of Snake’ made landfall around 8 am in Puri, with roaring winds flattening huts, enveloping the pilgrim town in sheets of rain, and submerging homes. Though the ‘extremely severe’ cyclone unexpectedly weakened into ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm in a matter of few hours, it left a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha, with the seaside pilgrim town of Puri being the worst hit.
Aerial view of destruction
The Naval Dornier Aircraft deployed to carry out aerial survey of Odisha to assess the impact of the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘FANI’ crossing coast near Puri, observed extensive devastation to vegetation in many places around Puri. A large number of trees and electric poles were found uprooted creating road blocks in the city limits of Puri. Roof top of Puri Railway Station was found to be blow off. Large scale water inundation was observed in many, particularly in low lying areas between Puri and Chilka Lake. The Dornier crew observed very strong winds of nearly 50 knots during the sortie. The footage of the aerial survey is being shared with the State Administration officials for planning relief and rehabilitation activities.
-BHUBANESHWAR, MAY 04, 2019