By Sradha Meloot
At least eight people have been killed and over 150 people injured in Odisha as Cyclone Fani wreaked havoc in the state, uprooting trees, submerging low lying areas, destroying houses and displacing tens of thousands of people.
Cyclone Fani with a speed reaching up to 175 kmph made the landfall in the morning that triggered heavy rainfall in the region accompanied by heavy storm.
Whild three deaths were reported from Puri, another three people were killed in Bhubaneswar and nearby areas. A woman died in Nayagarh after a concrete structure fell on her. Another woman died of a heart attack in a relief camp in Kendrapara.
The cyclonic system had an eye of around 28 km when it made the landfall.
Odisha government had shifted about 1.2 million people from 10,000 villages and 52 urban areas where Fani hit. The National Disaster Response Force said that more casualties were not reported as precautionary measures had been taken in advance by shifting the people in low lying areas to safer shelters. The government has already accommodated these people in about 4,000 camps, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres, across the state.
The heavy rains and storm have left the state in the dark as power lines have been snapped in many regions. Moreover, communication was also in disarray as mobile towers were damaged and telephone cables were also damaged.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that an amount of Rs 1,000 crore has been released in advance for Fani affected states.
Cyclone Fani has weakened over Odisha and is headed towards West Bengal. The Meteorological Department said that the eye of the storm will weaken once it enters Bengal by midnight. National Disaster Response Force has been deployed in West Bengal. All transportation, including train and flights has been cancelled. The government has started to shift people from low lying areas. A red alert has been issued in the coastal region.
Apart from West Bengal, the Assam government has also sounded an alert as the cyclone is likely to hit the state by Saturday.
HOW FANI GOT THE NAME
Fani comes from Bangladesh. It is pronounced as Foni and meaning of the word is ‘hood of a snake’. The name was picked from a pool of 64 names that were suggested by the countries in the North Indian Ocean basin.
The World Meteorological Organisation chooses the name from the pool. For cyclones developing in the North Indian Ocean, the names are suggested by India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Oman, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives and Pakistan.