Cyclone Fani leaves trail of destruction in eastern India

Odisha (India), May 3 : Cyclone Fani, India’s biggest storm in decades, made landfall impact on the coast of the eastern state of Odisha on Friday, May 3, 2019 around 8.00 a.m.  The Odisha government on Thursday evacuated over 11 lakh people from low-lying areas in 15 districts.Biju Patnaik airport in Odisha suffered massive damage  due to ferocious winds with speed touching nearly 200 km per hour, created havoc on the eastern coast.

Eight people have been killed and 160 reportedly injured as cyclone Fani triggering heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds with speed of 175 kmph extensively damaged kuchha houses, old buildings and temporary shops in Puri.

The storm caused a severe damage to property and public infrastructure in 13 coastal districts of the state.
The area along Puri is witnessing strong winds. Large areas in Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. Several trees were uprooted and thatched structures destroyed at some places including Bhubaneswar.

All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight, Kolkata airport will be shut between 3 pm today and till 8 am on Saturday.Bhubaneswar airport suffered “extensive” damage on Thursday due to cyclonic storm Fani, including damage to navigational aids, passenger terminal building and Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower, according to Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Guruprasad Mohaptra.

“A large part of the perimeter wall has caved-in, glass roofing panel of our terminal building and ATC tower has been damaged and there are debris on the runway as well…,” Mohapatra said.

A total of 140 trains including 83 passenger trains have been cancelled so far.

Extensive damage has been occurred to transmission lines and other electrical infrastructures. After crossing Odisha, cyclone Fani is likely to move towards West Bengal before tapering off.

Flight operations from the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar was suspended from Thursday night for the next 24 hours. Educational institutions in the coastal districts were closed till further orders.

As many as 25 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) along with State fire service personnel have been deployed in the coastal districts. Defence forces were on high alert to meet any eventuality.

Around 10,000 villages spread over 14 districts such as Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj are likely to be affected.

The West Bengal government on Thursday advanced the summer holidays for State-run schools.

Fani’s impact is likely to be felt in Purba and Paschim Medinipur, North and South 24 Parganas and Kolkata.

The Kolkata Port Trust said shipping to the port will remain suspended.

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