Almost a week after Cyclone Fani battered coastal Odisha leaving tens of thousands of people homeless, about 41 people dead, besides damaging essential infrastructure, people in the state continue to reel under darkness. NASA on Thursday shared images showing the state of power supply in Cuttack and the capital city of Bhubaneswar. The images compared the lightning in the two cities before and after the storm.
"The images on this page are data visualizations of where the lights went out across some of the worst affected areas in Odisha. The images show city lighting on April 30 (before the storm) and on May 5, 2019, two days after Fani made landfall. The storm destroyed several transmission towers and uprooted as many as 156,000 utility poles that must re-installed," reads the article by NASA.
Cyclone Fani left a trail of destruction ripping apart all the major infrastructure in over 11 coastal districts affecting more than 1.5 crore people. Over 5.08 lakh houses have been damaged in the cyclone which had made landfall in Puri last Friday.
Fani has damaged five 400 kV towers, 27 number of 220 kV towers, 21 number of 130 kV towers, four 220 kV grids and as many 132 kV grids in Puri.
Similarly, 5,030 kilometres 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 the cooperation of the consumers saying time is required to fully restore power connection in the cyclone-devastated areas. As many as 1.56 lakh electric poles have been uprooted in the extremely severe cyclone.
The state government has launched relief work in Bhubaneswar and Khurda district and issued directions to start the relief distribution in the other affected districts
"With extra manpower set to join the operations, we will be able to fully restore power supply in Bhubaneswar by May 12. We hope 80 per cent of the electricity consumers will get power by May 10," Information and Public Relations secretary Sanjay Singh told reporters.
Lack of power supply has also hit petrol pumps, banking and health services. The situation has been so precarious that people have started leaving the state capital due to the lack of essential services.