Cyclone Fani claims 16 lives in Odisha, 14 in Bangladesh, massive restoration work mounted

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 04 May 2019, 11:01 PM
Cyclone Fani
Cyclone Fani

After killing at least 16 people in Odisha on Friday and leaving a trail of destruction in eastern Indian coastlines, the "rarest of rare" summer cyclone Fani on Saturday claimed another 14 lives while leaving 63 others injured in Bangladesh.

According to Dhaka Tribune, 14 deaths were reported from eight districts, including Noakhali, Bhola and Lakshmipur, which were among the places worst-hit by the cyclone. The dead also included a two-year old boy and four women.

The severe cyclone, which entered Bangladesh through the southwestern region earlier this morning, also wounded several people though it weakened strength while barrelling into Bangladesh overland.

The deadly storm uprooted trees, knocked down power lines and damaged more than 500 houses.

Bangladesh authorities said over 1.6 million people were shifted to safer places as about 36 villages were flooded after the storm surge breached embankments in the country's coastal areas.

Meanwhile, in Odisha, a massive restoration-and-relief work was launched on war-footing on Saturday across 10,000 villages and urban areas.

The storm unleashed copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 200 kmph, blowing away thatched roofs of houses, swamping towns and villages, before weakening and entering West Bengal.

Around 2,000 emergency workers, along with civil society organisations, personnel of the NDRF, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and one lakh officials, were engaged in the restoration work, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a statement, before leaving for an aerial survey of the affected areas.

The toll due to Cyclone Fani, which stood at eight on Friday, mounted to 16 Saturday -- four deaths in Mayurbhanj district, 3 each in Puri, Bhubaneswar and Jajpur; and 1 each in Keonjhar, Nayagarh and Kendrapara.

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who, spoke to Patnaik and discussed the prevailing situation in the aftermath of Fani's landfall, is likely to visit the affected areas either on Sunday or Monday, CMO sources said.

The prime minister has assured continuous support from the Centre.

"Spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Ji and discussed the situation prevailing due to Cyclone Fani. Assured continuous support from the Central Government ... The entire nation stands in solidarity with all those affected by the cyclone in different parts," Modi said in a tweet.

The districts of Puri and Khurda were the worst-affected, the chief minister said, adding that Cuttack, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh were also hit by the cyclone.

West Bengal heaved a sigh of relief as Fani weakened on Saturday morning before moving towards Bangladesh. There was no report of any casualty or major damage in the districts through which the cyclone passed.

With the cyclonic storm moving away, flight operations resumed at Kolkata and Bhubaneswar Airport on Saturday. On Friday, the equipment and infrastructure at the Bhubaneswar airport was considerably damaged due to the cyclone 'Fani'.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has classified 'Fani' as an "extremely severe cyclonic storm". As per the IMD, Fani is also the first cyclonic storm of such severity to have formed in April in India's oceanic neighbourhood in 43 years.

Fani is the strongest storm to move through the Bay of Bengal since the tropical cyclone Nargis in 2008 that hit Myanmar with winds over 200 kph, bringing a devastating storm surge and flooding rainfall that resulted in more than 1,00,000 deaths in the country.

First Published: Saturday, May 04, 2019 11:01 PM
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