Cyclone Fani damages eastern India
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/03/19, 12:20 pm
Cyclone Fani made landfall on India’s eastern coast early Friday with torrential rainfall and winds of up to 127 miles per hour. The cyclone struck the coastal state of Odisha and later weakened to a “very severe storm” as it moved north to the state of West Bengal, the Indian Meteorological Department said.
In the state capital of Bhubaneshwar, heavy wind uprooted trees and toppled electrical power poles. In the Srikakulam district, the storm flattened thatched-roof houses and destroyed unanchored fishing boats. Officials so far have not documented any deaths or injuries. The Indian National Disaster Response Force evacuated about 1.2 million people from Odisha to nearly 4,000 shelters ahead of the storm in an unprecedented effort. Train service involving at least 200 trains was canceled across the country.
The Indian navy, air force, and coast guard remained on high alert. Cyclone Fani is the second strongest to hit the country since 1999, when a cyclone killed about 10,000 people after raging through the eastern coastal areas of Odisha.
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Onize is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.