Cyclone Fani: Death toll rises to 41
Bhubaneswar, May 08: The toll in Cyclone Fani rose to 41 on Wednesday , while power restoration work is on full swing in the affected areas with additional skilled manpower being drawn from other states, an official said.
The toll was 37 till Tuesday, the district collectors have confirmed four more deaths due to the cyclone which made landfall in Puri (Odisha) on Friday, Information and Public Relations secretary Sanjay Singh said without naming the districts from where fresh deaths were reported.
The official said restoration of water supply was the first priority of the state government after the cyclone and it has been achieved in both Bhubaneswar and most parts of Puri.
"We have engaged diesel generators in places for running the water pumps where electricity is not available," Sanjay Singh said.
"We will be able to fully restore power supply in the state capital by May 12," Sanjay Singh said while briefing the media on the restoration works following the massive devastation due to the cyclone which ripped apart water supply, electricity and telecom infrastructure in over 11 coastal districts.
On the power restoration problem, Sanjay Singh said, work is on full swing with additional skilled manpower drawn from states like West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. "While 80 per cent of electricity consumers will get power by May 10, the process will be completed by May 12 in Bhubaneswar," Sanjay Singh said.
The power restoration work in Puri district is picking up and in the first phase consumers will get electricity in Grand Road (Badadanda) area on May 12, said Sanjay Singh, who has been assigned the task of managing media and logistics in the post-cyclone period.
Sanjay Singh, however, could not give any time line for full restoration of power supply in Puri district in the face of massive destruction of infrastructure in the worst cyclone hit areas.
"We have to rebuild the power infrastructure afresh in many places of Puri district which was slammed by high velocity wind at a speed of over 200 kmph," Sanjay Singh said.
Cyclone Fani has damaged five 400 kv towers, 27 number of 220 kv towers, 21 number of 130 kv towers, four 220 kv grids, and four 132 kv grids in Puri.
Similarly, 5,030 km of 33 kv lines, 38,613 km of 11 kv line, 11,077 distribution transformers, and 79,485 km of low tension lines have been damaged in the calamity, the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said in its situation report.
The government has sought cooperation of the power consumers and said time is required to fully restore power connection in the cyclone devastated areas.
As many as 1.56 lakh new electric poles have been uprooted in the 'extremely severe' Cyclone Fani.
Meanwhile, the state government has launched the relief work in Bhubaneswar and issued direction to start the relief distribution in other affected districts as well.
The miseries of the people were compounded with high humidity level which soared above 90 per cent in coastal districts.
Apart from water supply, lack of power supply has also hit filling stations, banking service, health services and affected more than 1.4 crore people in the coastal region of the state.
The situation has been so precarious that people have started leaving the state capital due to lack of essential services.