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Will Crores of Flora and Fauna be Wiped Off? Odisha Preps Up to Save 'Immovable' Assets from Fani

The entire flora and fauna in the 87 square km-Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary is likely to be hit due to the severe cyclonic storm Fani.

Sujit Nath | News18

Updated:May 1, 2019, 7:06 PM IST
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Will Crores of Flora and Fauna be Wiped Off? Odisha Preps Up to Save 'Immovable' Assets from Fani
A deer feeds its newly born baby (Image: PTI)
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Kolkata: Nearly 3,000 animals, thousands of birds and over a crore trees are under threat as Cyclone Fani approaches Puri coast.

Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, which is located along the Bay of Bengal coast, boasts of nearly 3000 spotted deer, monkeys, hyenas, golden jackals, porcupines, squirrel, jungle cat, mongoose, wild lizards, thousands of birds and more than one crore trees.

The entire flora and fauna in the 87 square km-sanctuary is likely to be hit due to the severe cyclonic storm. However, the officials said that they have arranged for several veterinary doctors as standby in case of injuries.

Speaking to News18, District Forest Officer (DFO) Harshavardhan Udgata, said, “As of now it is likely to make landfall near Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a major concern for us because it will devastate the Sanctuary which is a home to nearly 3,000 spotted deer. Besides deers, monkeys, hyenas, golden jackals, porcupines, squirrel, jungle cat, mongoose, wild lizards, thousands of birds and more than 1 crore of trees are inside the sanctuary.”

He said, “In worst situation, we have to open all the three gates of the sanctuary so that animals should have the freedom to save their lives. We have kept several veterinary doctors on standby for treat animals in case of injuries.”

Jyoti Prakash Das, Puri, Collector, said, “We have issued adequate advisories to the people and fishermen. All the tourists (mainly from West Bengal) were asked to leave Puri by Thursday morning for their safety. All the hotels were asked to stop hotel bookings from May 2 to May 5. Red flags were put at the Coastal zone.”

On Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, he said, “I had a meeting with the DFO and we will try our best to handle the situation with the best possible resources we have.”

Bhubaneswar's Nandankanan Zoological Park has also been closed for visitors from Thursday till Saturday.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani is likely to hit in the afternoon on May 3 with a wind speed of 175kmph (approx.) and gusts of 205 kmph (approx). It will also affect West Bengal and the Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh.

“After landfall, it is likely to move to Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj and Balasore districts of Odisha and then enter to West Bengal,” a statement issued by the IMD said.

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