A day after Cyclone Fani struck Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik praised the relief and rescue operations run by the government. At least 12 people lost their lives and thatched houses were destroyed. Power supplies were also affected due to the cyclone. The cyclonic storm made lanfall at 8 am on Friday.
The chief minister claimed that the casualties were less due to the state government’s preparedness. Talking about rescue operations, the CM said that close to 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours. Of them, 3.2 lakh people were from Ganjam, 1.3 lakh were from Puri.
He further said that over 7000 kitchens catering to 9,000 shelters were made operational overnight. And that the entire exercise involved over 45,000 volunteers. Fani caused extensive damage in Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore districts of Odisha. Ganjam and Gajapati districts of Odisha witnessed extremely heavy falls.
Meanwhile, the cyclonic storm which had entered West Bengal from Odisha has furthered weakened and has now moved to Bangladesh. As per officials, there is no threat to West Bengal as the cyclone had weakened before entering the state from Odisha.
The storm also affected coastal districts of West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh witnessed very heavy rainfalls.
The storm has now moved to Bangladesh where over 12 lakh people living in vulnerable districts have been shifted to 4,000 shelters.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy has launched relief and rescue in Odisha. Two Maritime Recce sorties were undertaken by the Navy that revealed huge destruction around Puri, an official statement said. The Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Eastern Naval Command surveyed the cyclone-affected area on Saturday and also visited INS Chilka to review the rescue operations.
The cyclone made landfall at Puri on Friday lead to heavy rains rain and windstorm that gusted up to 200 kmph, blowing away thatched roofs of houses, and destroying several trees before entering West Bengal. The Eastern Naval Command, based on survey is undertaking rescue and rehabilitation effort in and around Puriin coordination with the state government and other authorities