Visuals from Tarikund in Jagatsinghpur after CycloneFani made landfall in state on May 3. Photo/ANI
Visuals from Tarikund in Jagatsinghpur after CycloneFani made landfall in state on May 3. Photo/ANI

Rescue and relief operations mounted on massive scale in wake of cyclone 'Fani'

ANI | Updated: May 04, 2019 20:13 IST

Bhubaneshwar (Odisha) [India], May 4 (ANI): Rescue and relief operations were mounted on a massive scale in Odisha, which was recovering from devastation on Friday left by Cyclone Fani that crossed West Bengal on Saturday, bringing in its wake heavy rains in Kolkata and causing damage in various towns of the state.
Extensive damage to telecommunications and power infrastructure was reported from Puri, Bhubaneshwar and other parts of Odisha when the storm with wind speed reaching up to 175kmph lashed the Odisha coast after it made landfall near Puri coast.
The National Crisis Management Committee met in Delhi on Saturday and reviewed the rescue and relief measures being carried out in Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. It was felt that due to timely measures and large scale evacuation of people to safety shelters, loss of human lives was minimal.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the death toll was only in single digit but did not give the exact figure. He said a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours and called it one of the biggest human evacuations in history.
A total of 3.2 lakh people from Gunjam district and 1.3 lakh from Puri were evacuated.
The Odisha government is now on the task of restoring infrastructure afresh in Puri district and parts of Khurda, which is severally ruined. The districts of Cuttack, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Nayagada have also been affected.
"In the event of such a major calamity like this, where Odisha was hit by close to a Super Cyclone, instead of it being a tragedy of humungous proportions, we are in the process of restoring critical infrastructure," said the chief minister.
The cyclonic storm 'Fani' that wreaked havoc in Odisha on Friday and West Bengal on Saturday, has now weakened into a deep depression and lay centred over Bangladesh and expected to weaken further into a depression.
"The CS 'Fani' over Gangetic West Bengal moved further east-northeastwards and weakened into a Deep Depression, lay centred at 08.30 hrs IST over Bangladesh near lat 23.6degN & long 88.8degE. It is very likely to move northeastwards, weaken further into a Depression during next 06 hrs," tweeted India Meteorological Department (IMD).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Patnaik over phone and discussed the situation in the wake of Cyclone Fani wreaking havoc.
"Spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Ji and discussed the situation prevailing due to cyclone Fani. Assured continuous support from the Central Government in the wake of the cyclone. The entire nation stands in solidarity with all those affected by the cyclone in different parts," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Had a discussion with Odisha Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal Ji on the situation in the state due to Cyclone Fani. Assured all possible help from the Centre to the sisters and brothers of Odisha, who are showing exemplary courage in the face of a natural disaster," the PM said.
He also spoke to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee and Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi and promised Centre's readiness to provided all help needed to cope with the cyclone.
Rain lashed Kolkata as cyclone Fani hits West Bengal by crossing Kharagpur earlier on Saturday. Trees were uprooted in towns in coastal West Bengal including Digha, Mandarmani, Tajpur, Sandehskhali and Contai as the storm surge forward.
After crossing Kharagpur, it moved further in North-East direction with approximately a wind speed of 90 km/hour. NDRF personnel were clearing the uprooted trees from the road at Digha and other places.
"Severe Cyclone FANI weakened into a Cyclonic Storm and lay centred at 60 km NW of Kolkata at 0530 IST of 4th May. To weaken into Deep Depression and move into Bangladesh by noon," tweeted IMD. (ANI)