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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Dozen dead and millions affected by cyclone Fani; PM Modi to visit Odisha on Monday

Though special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi could confirm only three deaths, news channels reported nearly a dozen deaths due to collapsing walls, falling trees and electric poles.

india Updated: May 04, 2019 16:27 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, Puri /Bhubaneswar
An Indian woman walks next to a damaged building with a fishing boat lodged on its roof along the seafront in Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on May 4, 2019, after Cyclone Fani swept through the area.
An Indian woman walks next to a damaged building with a fishing boat lodged on its roof along the seafront in Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha on May 4, 2019, after Cyclone Fani swept through the area. (AFP)
         

At least 12 people are reported to have died and more than a thousand others injured a day after Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in at least 12 districts of Odisha, bringing life to a complete standstill in half the coastal state.

Though special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi could confirm only three deaths, news channels reported nearly a dozen deaths due to collapsing walls, falling trees and electric poles. Officials said a higher death toll was averted with the timely evacuation of 1.1 million people in a matter of 24 hours.

Cyclone Fani, which hit the Odisha coast at Puri at 8 am on Friday with wind speeds of 220 kmph, later ravaged Bhubaneswar, Balasore, Jajpur, Khurda and Nayagarh districts in its path, twisting and turning hundreds of kilometres of power lines, toppling scores of mobile towers bringing communication to a standstill.

Also Read | Cyclone Fani moves into Bengal; no major damage reported yet

On Saturday morning, Cyclone Fani weakened into a severe storm and lay centered 60 km NW of Kolkata at 5.30 am, said IMD regional director HR Biswas.

Additional chief secretary Suresh Mohapatra said the government apprehended that lakhs of people would have been rendered homeless by the cyclone, but lack of communication was preventing them from making an assessment of it. “In Puri and Bhubaneswar, the telecom networks have been completely disrupted. It will take some time to restore them,” said Mohapatra. “We are still trying to find out the areas that have been most affected,” said Mohapatra.

Also Read | ‘Centre ready to extend help to people of Odisha, WB’: PM Modi

Odisha energy secretary Hemant Sharma said 10,000 electric poles in Bhubaneswar have been completely damaged affecting 30 lakh consumers. Electricity supply will be restored in 25 per cent area of the Capital city, he said. The electric poles and uprooted trees have brought traffic to a standstill on several national and state highways. Officials said NDRF and ODRAF units with their specialised equipments are trying to clear the roads by this evening.

Meanwhile, PM Narendra Modi said he will visit Odisha on Monday morning to take stock of the post cyclone situation. In a tweet, the PM said he

Also Read | Cyclone Fani uproots trees, triggers heavy rains in Bengal

spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and discussed the situation prevailing due to the cyclone while assuring continuous support from the Centre in the wake of the cyclone. “Entire nation stands in solidarity with all those affected by the cyclone in different parts,” tweeted Modi.

The Airport Authority of India which suspended flights in and out of Bhubaneswar airport from May 2 midnight, said the first flight will begin operating from 1 pm today. The Bhubaneswar airport has suffered major damage with the facade and roofs completely blown away by the cyclone. The East Coast Railways, meanwhile, kept its operations suspended with 226 trains remaining cancelled.

National carrier Air India said if any NGO/Civil society/self-help group etc wants to send relief material to the cyclone-affected area of Odisha, Air India would ship it free of cost.

Here are the Odisha helpline numbers:

Angul- 06764230980

Balasore - 06782262286

Baragarh - 0664623112

Bhadrak - 06784251881

Bolangir - 06652232452

Boudh - 06841222023

Cuttack - 06712507842

Deogarh - 06641226843

Dhenkanal - 06762226507

Gajapati - 06815222943

Ganjam - 06811263978

Jagatsinghpur - 06724220368

Jaipur - 06728222648

Jharsuguda - 06645272902

Kalahandi - 06670230455

Kandhamal - 06842253650

Kendrapara - 06727232803

Keonjhar - 06766255437

Khurda - 06755220002

Koraput - 06852251381

Mlkangiri - 06861230442

Mayurbhanj - 06792252759

Nawarangapur - 06868222434

Nayagrah - 06753252978

Nuapada - 06678225357

Puri - 06752223237

Rayagada - 06856224062

Sambalpur - 06632412407

Subarnapur - 06654220362

Sundargarh - 06622272233