Cyclone Fani death toll rises to 42 in India, Bangladesh - International

Wednesday, 08 May, 2019

The chief minister, however, could not give the details on the status of the ongoing work for power restoration in the affected areas. More than one million heeded government warnings and moved into storm shelters before the storm came ashore.

Thousands of trees and mobile phone towers were uprooted and roofs were torn off by the storm.

In India, authorities were assessing the casualties and damage left behind by Fani, which had spent days churning slowly, building power over the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal before tearing into Odisha.

The two south Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu have offered to lend their support to the state of Odisha, which has been hit by Cyclone Fani, causing widespread destruction to human lives and property.

Odisha police took to Twitter to share pictures of officials who were on duty and braved odds to rescue people.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed affected district collectors to supply cooked food to people taking shelter at cyclone shelter centres for 15 days.

Twenty-one deaths were reported in the Hindu pilgrimage city of Puri, said Odisha special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

This gas station in the town of Puri bore the brunt of Cyclone Fani's onslaught.

Cyclones typically quickly lose power as they move inland.

On Friday, winds brought down electricity poles and authorities had ordered the airport to stay closed in Bhubaneswar, about 60 kilometres inland. In 1999, a super cyclone hit the state, killing more than 10,000 people.

Schools and colleges in Odisha were also shut. But the cyclone is now not expected to hit the camps unless it changes path, which is not thought likely. Power and water have also been cut off.

"Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been requested to provide additional assistance to Odisha, particularly in the area of power". Fani is expected to move northeastwards toward Bangladesh, with the homes of 100 million people in its path.

Odisha has suffered the brunt of cyclones earlier.

The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction praised India for its preparations, which included the evacuation of 1.2 million people.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has cleared fallen trees from most of the roads in Puri, Khurda and Bhubaneswar and normal traffic has resumed, said the statement that was issued based on information shared by Odisha government in a National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha. "This mammoth exercise involved more than 45,000 volunteers".

One local leader called Fani the "rarest of rare" tropical storms to hit India in years. Normally the storms hit around October and November.