Death Toll in Cyclone Fani Rises to 41, Power Restoration Work in Odisha in Full Swing
A senior official said that restoration of water supply was the first priority of the state government and this has been achieved in both Bhubaneswar and most parts of Puri.
A view of damaged streets in Puri after Fani made landfall on Friday. (PTI)
Bhubaneswar: The toll in cyclone Fani on Wednesday rose to 41, while power restoration work is on full swing in affected areas with additional skilled manpower being drawn from other states, an official said.
While the toll until Tuesday was 37, district collectors have confirmed four more deaths due to the cyclone which made a landfall in Puri on Friday, said Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Singh. However, he did not disclose the names of the districts where the fresh deaths were reported.
Singh said restoration of water supply was the first priority of the state government after the cyclone – this has been achieved in both Bhubaneswar and most parts of Puri.
"We have engaged diesel generators for running water pumps in places where electricity is not available," he said. "We will be able to fully restore power supply in the state capital by May 12."
On the power restoration problem, Singh said work is on in full swing with additional skilled manpower drawn from states like West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. "While 80% of electricity consumers will get power by May 10, the process will be completed by May 12 in Bhubaneswar," he added.
The power restoration work in Puri district has picked up and in the first phase consumers will get electricity in Grand Road (Badadanda) area on May 12, said Singh, who has been assigned the task of managing media and logistics in the post-cyclone period.
But he was unable to give a specific timeline for the full restoration of power supply in Puri district in the face of massive destruction of infrastructure in the worst cyclone-hit areas.
"We have to rebuild the power infrastructure afresh in many places of Puri district, which was slammed by high velocity wind at a speed of over 200 kmph," he said.
Cyclone Fani has damaged five 400-KV (kilo-volt) towers, 27 220-KV towers, 21 130-KV towers, four 220-KV grids and four 132-KV grids in Puri.
Similarly, 5,030 km of 33-KV line, 38,613 km of 11-KV line, 11,077 distribution transformers, and 79,485 km of low-tension lines have been damaged in the calamity, said the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) in its situation report.
The government has sought cooperation of the power consumers and said time is required to fully restore power connection in the cyclone-devastated areas. As many as 1.56 lakh new electric poles have been uprooted in the 'extremely severe' cyclone.
Meanwhile, the state government has launched relief work in Bhubaneswar and issued direction to start the relief distribution in other affected districts as well.
The miseries of the people were compounded with high humidity level, which soared above 90% in coastal districts.
Apart from water supply, lack of power supply has also hit filling stations, banking service, health services and affected more than 1.4 crore people in the coastal region of the state. The situation has been so precarious that people have started leaving the state capital due to lack of essential services.
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