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Fani Juggernaut Leaves 32 Dead in Odisha, Hits Over a Crore Residents as Govt Makes Efforts to Restore Normalcy

At least 1.5 crore people have been affected by the cyclone, which passed through the state with wind speeds ranging between 200 and 240 kmph.

Anand ST Das | News18

Updated:May 5, 2019, 7:23 PM IST
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Fani Juggernaut Leaves 32 Dead in Odisha, Hits Over a Crore Residents as Govt Makes Efforts to Restore Normalcy
A view of the destruction caused by Cyclone Fani after its landfall in Puri (PTI)

Bhubaneswar: The death toll in Cyclone Fani rose to 32 on Sunday even as the state government mounted massive restoration exercises with the help of several rescue and reconstruction organisations.

Two days after the "extremely severe" storm that barrelled through coastal Odisha, causing widespread destruction and leaving hundreds grappling with water shortage and power cuts, pictures of the extensive devastation came to light.

At least 1.5 crore people have been affected by the cyclone, which passed through the state with wind speeds ranging between 200 and 240 kmph.

Of the 32 deaths, 20 took place in Puri — the worst hit among all the districts, followed by Khorda. Unofficial figures of the death toll across Odisha remained as high as 40.

According to the office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) of the state, 145 blocks were affected in 11 districts and areas close to the Bay of Bengal coast. As many as 15,846 villages and 773 wards in 51 urban areas came under the monstrous spell of cyclone Fani. The mighty winds and incessant rain caused the death of 17,280 domestic animals.

As many as 3.32 lakh houses were damaged by the cyclone, which made a landfall in Puri district at 8 AM on May 3. The death toll of 32 remained low mainly because the state government had evacuated 13.88 lakh people from low-lying areas to shelter homes two days prior to the landfall, in what is being hailed as a historic evacuation exercise.

The 12th century Shree Jagannath temple in has suffered minor damages, news agency PTI said quoting officials. "Yes, there has been minor damages to the temple, but the main structure remains unaffected. We will request the ASI to inspect the shrine," P K Mohapatra, the chief administrator of Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) was quoted as saying.

The SRC’s office said that 15,179 cyclone shelters are currently operating in the affected districts and that as many as 25.63 lakh people are being served food and water at these centres.

CM Naveen Patnaik announced a special relief package for the cyclone-hit people in Puri and Khorda. Each of the families, covered under the food security scheme, will get 50 kg rice apart from polythene sheets and Rs 2,000. Other families affected by the cyclone will get a month's quota of rice, polythene sheets and Rs 1,000.

For houses which got fully damaged, an assistance of Rs 95,100 will be disbursed while Rs 52,000 will be doled out for partially damaged houses. The government will pay Rs 3,200 for houses that suffered minor damage, announced the CM.

According to a state government official, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to visit Odisha to review the situation. Modi spoke to Patnaik on Saturday and assured continuous support from the Centre for the rehabilitation work. The East Coast Railway (ECoR) partially resumed operations on the Howrah-Chennai route on Sunday.

"Barring the Bhubaneswar-Tirupati Express and the Visakhapatnam Intercity Express, all trains originating from the state capital, including the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express, will be running normally from Sunday," an ECoR official said.

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| Edited by: Sumedha Kirti
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