Fani caused extensive damage to power, telecom; rail and air connectivity restored

NEW DELHI, May 4: Cyclone Fani has caused extensive damage to telecommunications and power infrastructure in Puri, Bhubaneswar and some other areas of Odisha, while rail and air connectivity to the state is getting restored on Saturday, the Centre said.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, reviewed rescue and relief operations in the cyclone-hit areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, a day after the ‘extremely severe cyclone’ made a landfall in Odisha.
“Odisha informed that extensive damage to telecommunications and power infrastructure had been caused in Puri, Bhubaneswar and other areas. However, due to advance precautionary measures taken and large scale evacuation, the loss of human lives was minimal,” an official statement said.
The West Bengal government has reported mild impact of the cyclone, while the Andhra Pradesh government informed about heavy rainfall and some damage to crops and roads in Srikakulam district.
The railways has cleared the mainline and will start part of operations using diesel-operated locomotives by Saturday. Flights to Bhubaneswar also resumed operations on Saturday afternoon, according to the statement.
The transmission line supplying power to Bhubaneswar is expected to be restored by Saturday.
The telecommunications department indicated that mobile services would also be restored partially. No damage to ports and refinery installations was reported, the statement said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has moved 16 additional teams, comprising about 45 personnel in each, for rescue and relief work in Odisha, and has removed fallen trees and other obstacles on most of the roads.
The union health ministry has decided to postpone the NEET exam in Odisha, scheduled for 5 May, based on the advice of the state government. It is also moving teams of public health experts to assist the state government in preventing outbreak of any epidemic.
The railways and civil aviation ministries have made arrangements for free transportation of relief materials to the cyclone affected areas, the statement said.
Besides others, the chief secretaries and principal secretaries of the Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal governments participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference. (PTI)