A day after Odisha faced one of the worst cyclonic storms in over a decade, state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik lauded the relief and rescue measures undertaken by his government on Saturday. He said a record 12 lakh people were evacuated from the affected areas in days prior to Cyclone Fani.
Fani, which barreled through Odisha on Friday, battered several parts of the state killing at least 12 people and damaging cities in its wake, PTI reported. However, the chief minister claimed the death toll is in single digit owing to the preparedness of the state government. “A record of 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours, 3.2 lakh from Ganjam, 1.3 lakh from Puri and almost 7000 kitchens catering to 9,000 shelters were made functional overnight. This mammoth exercise involved more than 45,000 volunteers,” Patnaik said.
The cyclone, which developed over the Bay of Bengal, has weakened further as it entered Bangladesh. As per forecast, there will be moderate to light rainfall, particularly in the districts adjacent to Bangladesh, but the weather condition in and around the city will normalise through the course of the day, Deputy Director General of the Regional Meteorological Centre here, Sanjib Bandyopadhyay told PTI.
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, about 12 lakh people living in the most vulnerable districts in the country had been moved to some 4,000 shelters. The 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, Reuters reported.
Weather officials said there is no threat to West Bengal over developments as the very severe cyclonic storm had weakened into a severe cyclonic storm over Odisha coast before entering West Bengal.
The West Bengal government had taken precautionary measures Friday in East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas districts, besides Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram, Kolkata and the Sundarbans, in wake of the cyclonic storm.