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Cyclone 'Fani' led to evacuation of 1.2 million people in Odisha, death toll in single digit: Naveen Patnaik

May 4 (AZINS) The Odisha government claimed the cyclone 'Fani' has led to one of the biggest human evacuations in history as a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours including 3.2 lakh from Ganjam district and 1.3 lakh from Puri.

"3.2 lakh from Ganjam and 1.3 lakh people from Puri were evacuated with almost 7000 kitchens catering to 9000 shelters were made functional overnight. The mammoth exercise involved more than 45 thousand volunteers, 3 million targeted messages, 2000 emergency workers, youth clubs and other civil society organizations, ODRAF, NDRF, PRI agencies," said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Patnaik also added that the death toll is only in single digit without mentioning the exact number. "According to our latest report, it is only in single digit," he said.

Cyclone Fani on Friday made landfall in Puri with a wind speed of over 200 Km/hr. 'Kuccha' houses were completely destroyed in Puri, parts of Khurda, and other districts. The cyclone tore apart critical infrastructure, especially power, telecom and water supply. Lakhs of trees were uprooted blocking roads, breaking homes and damaging infrastructure.

The cyclone also triggered heavy rainfall in the state. It left three people dead and over 160 injured along with leaving behind a trail of destructions that included damaged houses, uprooted trees and electricity poles.

The impact of the "extremely severe cyclonic storm" was also felt in parts of West Bengal, including the beach town of Digha, and Andhra Pradesh.

The Odisha government is now on the task of restoring infrastructure afresh in Puri district and parts of Khurda, which is severally ruined. The districts of Cuttack, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Nayagada have also been affected.

"In the event of such a major calamity like this, where Odisha was hit by close to a Super Cyclone, instead of it being a tragedy of humungous proportions, we are in the process of restoring critical infrastructure," said the chief minister.

The cyclonic storm 'Fani' that wreak havoc in Odisha on Friday and West Bengal on Saturday, has now weakened into a deep depression and lay centred over Bangladesh and expected to weaken further into a depression.

"The CS 'FANI' over Gangetic West Bengal moved further east-northeastwards and weakened into a Deep Depression, lay centred at 08.30 hrs IST over Bangladesh near lat 23.6degN & long 88.8degE. It is very likely to move northeastwards, weaken further into a Depression during next 06 hrs," tweeted India Meteorological Department (IMD).