Bhubaneshwar, May 03:
Cyclone ‘Fani’ barrelled through Odisha on Friday, unleashing copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, blowing away thatched houses, and swamping towns and villages, officials said.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ or the ‘Hood of Snake’ made landfall around 8 a.m. in Puri, with roaring winds flattening huts, enveloping the pilgrim town in sheets of rain, and submerging homes.
Though the ‘extremely severe’ cyclone unexpectedly weakened into ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm in a matter of few hours, it left a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha, with the seaside pilgrim town of Puri being the worst hit.
At least eight people have been reported dead so far, senior officials said, adding information was still awaited from many areas.
While three people, including a teenage boy, were reported killed in Puri district, three perished in Bhubaneswar and nearby areas. Flying debris from a concrete structure fatally struck a woman in Nayagarh. An elderly woman died of heart attack at a relief shelter in Kendrapara district, official sources said.
B’desh evacuates 5 lakh people
Meanwhile, Bangladesh on Friday evacuated over five lakh people from its southwestern districts as cyclonic storm ‘Fani’, brewing over the Bay of Bengal, is drawing closer and is likely to hit the country late night and cause severe damage after ravaging the Indian coastlines. Met office spokesman Omar Faruque said the cyclone is likely to “enter Bangladesh through Khulna coastlines and will take the entire night to cross the country, ravaging southwestern” coastline districts.
Bangladesh skyline turned dark in many parts of the country since noon as ‘Fani’ started approaching, albeit with a weakened force, after ravaging India’s eastern Odisha coastlines, weather officials said.