DHAKA/BHUBANESWAR: The strongest cyclone to hit India in five years killed at least 12 people in eastern Odisha state, before swinging north-eastwards into Bangladesh on Saturday where four more people died although more than a million had been moved to safety.
After it made landfall early on Friday, tropical cyclone Fani had lost some of its power and was downgraded to a ‘Deep Depression’ by the Indian Meteorological Department as the storm moved inland over Bangladesh.
“The fear of a major disaster is mostly over as it has weakened,” Shamsuddin Ahmed, director of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, told reporters.
A storm surge still breached embankments to submerge dozens of villages on Bangladesh’s low-lying coast, a disaster ministry official in Dhaka said.
About 1.2 million people living in the most vulnerable districts in Bangladesh had been moved to some 4,000 shelters.
The official said storm had damaged more than 500 houses. It destroyed several houses in the Noakhali district, where a two-year-old child and a 12-year-old girl were killed, and about 30 people were injured, local official Tanmoy Das told Reuters.
Bangladesh’s junior disaster minister Enamur Rahman told reporters that at least four people had been killed and 63 injured.
In India, authorities were assessing the damage left behind by Fani, which had spent days building power over the northern reaches of the Bay of Bengal before tearing into Odisha.
Indian media reported that at least 12 people had died across the state, with most deaths caused by falling trees, but a mass evacuation of 1.2 million people in the 24 hours before the tropical cyclone made landfall averted a greater loss of life.
The seaside temple town of Puri, which lay directly in the path of Fani, suffered extensive damage, as winds gusting up to 200 kph (124 mph) tore off tin roofs, snapped power lines, and uprooted trees on Friday.
“Destruction is unimaginable… Puri is devastated,” Odisha’s Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi told Reuters, adding that 116 people were reported injured across the state.
Video footage taken from an Indian navy aircraft showed extensive inundation in areas around Puri, with wide swathes of land submerged in the aftermath of the storm.
At least six people died in Bhubaneswar, Odisha’s state capital, where fallen trees blocked roads and electricity supply was still to be fully restored.
Ashok Patnaik, director of Capital Hospital, one of the largest state-run hospitals in n Bhubaneswar, said four people were received dead on Friday and two on Saturday. “All are cyclone-related,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in the midst of a general election, said in a tweet that he would visit Odisha on Monday.
Bhubaneswar airport suffered considerable damage, but would re-open on Saturday afternoon, India‘s aviation ministry said.
Shelters were set up in schools and other safe buildings to accommodate the evacuees, who included scores of tourists.
Neighbouring West Bengal state escaped substantial damage, but authorities moved nearly 45,000 people to safer locations.
The cyclone season in the Bay of Bengal can last from April to December.
In 1999, a super-cyclone battered the coast of Odisha for 30 hours, killing 10,000 people.
But since then, technology advances have helped weather forecasters track the cyclones more accurately, giving authorities more time to prepare, and a mass evacuation of nearly a million people saved thousands of lives in 2013.
MANCHESTER: Manchester City generously applauded new champions Liverpool onto the field before their Premier League match on Thursday -- and promptly showed no mercy by thrashing them 4-0 at the Etihad stadium. With the title secured a week ago, there was little at stake for Juergen Klo Read More...
MADRID: Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos kept his nerve to score a late penalty and secure a hard-fought 1-0 home win over Getafe on Thursday for a sixth consecutive La Liga victory to take his side one step closer to winning the title. Ramos coolly passed the ball into the net to brea Read More...
Kathmandu, July 2 With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading and impacting people in multiple ways, World Health Organisation today called upon South-East Asia region countries, including Nepal, to pay greater attention to mental health and suicide prevention. “Hitting lives and livelihoods, Read More...
Workers in transportation sector face risk of losing their livelihood as the service is yet to resume KATHMANDU, JUNE 2 National Assembly lawmakers have drawn the attention of the government to the need of making transport service effective by adopting required health safety measures as life h Read More...
KATHMANDU, JULY 2 European Union and UNICEF have expanded their partnership on nutrition to prevent malnutrition in children due to the socio-economic impact of the pandemic. Socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has pushed many vulnerable families across Nepal into deeper poverty and h Read More...
POKHARA, JULY 2 Amid protest from the opposition party, a bill was tabled in the Provincial Assembly meeting of Gandaki Province proposing facilities for local level representatives today. Minister of Internal Affairs and Law Hari Bahadur Chuman tabled the bill which proposed facilities for me Read More...
KAPILVASTU, JUNE 2 Girls of Shivapur of Shivaraj Municipality in Kapilvastu district have joined hands against drug addiction. Girls associated with Gautam Kishori Sambad, Saraswoti Kishori Sambad and Nabadurga Kishori Sambad located in Shivapur have launched campaign to control drug addiction Read More...
KATHMANDU, JULY 2 Nayab Subbas (non-gazetted first class officers) have threatened to continue nationwide protest until their demands are met. They have demanded revision in a few provisions proposed in the Federal Civil Service Bill, passed recently by the State Affairs and Good Governance Co Read More...