Nearly 10 million people in coastal Odisha grappled with the inconvenience of disruption in power and water supply and telecommunication services due to Cyclone Fani. The Odisha government stepped up efforts to restore critical infrastructure devastated a day after the super storm hit the state with a wind speed of over 200 kmph.
Most of coastal Odisha, including the state capital capital, Bhubaneswar, went without electricity for the second day today with the power supply network being worst affected by the calamity after more than 100,000 electricity poles were uprooted by the storm.
“For the districts of Puri and parts of Khurda where the electricity infrastructure has been totally devastated, we have the challenge of having to set up the entire electrification afresh,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
"Three million consumers have been affected due to Fani. Power supply to 0.5 million consumers will be restored today and another 0.5 million will be get electricity by Sunday," said Bisnupdada Sethi, special relief commissioner, Odisha.
"As many as 36 220 kV substations and 10,000 11.4 kV substations and low transmission lines have been completely damaged," he said.
"Within 24 hours, we have been successful in restoring connectivity for all highways , state highways and district roads," Sethi added.
Acting on the request of Odisha government, the examinations for AIIMS and NEET have been postponed for state candidates.
Meanwhile, the government confirmed seven deaths due to the cyclone.
"Fani had landfall in Puri with windspeed of more than 200 kilometres per hour. It tore apart critical infrastructure especially power, telecom and water supply. It is being the tragedy of humungous proportion," said Patnaik.
A record number of 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours by the Odisha government minimising human casualties due to the calamity. "This is one of the largest evacuation process in the recent past," said Patnaik.
Meanwhile, normal services resumed at the Biju Patnaik International airport, which was badly hit by the storm.
Ports at Gopalpur and Dhamra resumed commercial operations after cyclone Fani crossed the Odisha coast. Neither of the ports reported any casualty and damage in the cyclone. “Normal operations were restored after necessary safety management,” said the spokesman of the Gopalpur Port Ltd.