Cyclone Fani: 12 dead in Odisha, India, power lines cut

A tree branch blocking a road after cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha coast, at Konark in Puri district Odisha, India Friday. Photo by Stringer/EPA-EFE

May 4 (UPI) — Cyclone Fani has caused colossal damage since it made landfall close to the city of Puri in Odisha, India, leaving 12 people dead and downing power lines.

Fani, which struck at 8 a.m. local time Friday, killed three people in Puri district, and nine overall in Odisha, sources said.

The storm has run the city of Puri in Odisha virtually into the ground with downed power lines. Failed networks also stopped people from being able to get information about loved ones.

Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director general of the Regional Meteorological Center, told PTI News Saturday that there is no threat to West Bengal anymore, as it weakens before entering Bangladesh.

The fishing community and tourist hub was hit so badly that boats were seen overturned on houses.

More than a million people were evacuated a day earlier in low-lying coastal areas with officials setting up 900 evacuation shelters in Odisha and going door to door to warn people before the storm hit.

The administration said preparation prevented the situation from being even worse.

Nearly 25,000 tourists were asked to leave the fishing community the day before Fani hit the coast. The administration had also prepared ready-to-eat food for those impacted by Fania.

In another city in Odisha, Bhubaneswar, people living in slums were left homeless as Fani blew the roofs of thatched houses away.

“Fani is one of the rarest of rare cyclones – the first to hit in 43 years and one of three to hit in 150 years,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said. “Because of the rarity, the prediction and tracking of the cyclone was challenging. In 24 hours, one was not sure of the trajectory it was going to take.”

Wind speeds of over 120 mph, with gusts nearly 150 mph, “tore apart infrastructure, especially power, telecom and water supply,” Patnaik added.


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