Cyclone Fani—meaning the hood of a snake—lived up to its fearsome label by stinging Odisha ferociously last week. The storm, packing winds up to 200kmph, slithered up on the eastern state and wrought immense havoc, toppling houses, uprooting electric poles and flattening trees. Large swathes of Odisha rocked and shook violently as the growling storm, accompanied by blinding rains, torpedoed its way through before heading to West Bengal and beyond, spewing more venom.
Given the intensity of the gale, the damage inflicted was expectedly extensive. But that not many human lives were lost makes for heartening news. That is something Odisha can be proud of. Hammered by the Super Cyclone of 1999 that killed some 10,000 people after the storm scooped up the sea and brought gigantic waves 22 km inland in Ersama of Jagatsinghpur district, valuable lessons have been learnt. With memories of that disaster still fresh, residents are more aware and