International desk, May 04: With lakhs of people moving from low lying areas to shelter homes and PA systems continuously beaming precautionary measures, the coastal districts of Odisha prepared for the incoming cyclone Fani for an entire week.By the time storm made landfall on Friday, with a rare intense force of 180 kmph, the streets in coastal Odisha were more or less deserted.
The impact was heavy as trees uprooted, power lines downed and thatched houses swept away. Now that the storm has passed on to West Bengal, the trail of damage in Odisha is huge. One of the most intense storms in recent history has definitely left a mark on the coastal state!
Fani, meaning ‘the hood of a snake’, has claimed eight lives in Odisha on Friday. Times of India reported that 3 people were killed in Puri district and 3 others in Bhubaneshwar. One woman was fatally struck from flying debris of a concrete structure in Nayagarh, while an elderly woman was killed in Kendrapara district. Moreover, a government spokesperson said that around 160 people have reportedly been injured due to the storm in Odisha.
Even though the damages were huge, the casualties were limited owing to the accurate storm prediction and warning system, efficient evacuation and timely response. Nearly 12 lakh people were evacuated from over 10,000 villages and 52 urban agglomerations and shifted to over 4000 shelters.
More than 220 trains were cancelled along the Odisha coast, including 140 mail/express trains and 83 passenger trains. Special trains did help, but the closure of Bhubaneshwar airport on Thursday midnight made things worse for the people waiting to get out. Infrastructure at Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneshwar has taken a major hit, however, authorities are making effort to resume flight operations by Saturday afternoon.
Source: The Weather Channel