Bhubaneswar: Cyclonic Storm FANI left a trail of destruction in Puri and parts of Khordha districts in Odisha by disrupting power & telecommunication services, damaging infrastructure and uprooting a huge number of trees.
Destruction caused by a natural calamity of this magnitude was last witnessed in the state in 1999 when a Super Cyclone made landfall near Paradip and wreaked havoc in several districts killing around 10,000 people. The estimated maximum wind speed had reached 260-270 kmph in the core area.
Fani, on the other hand, hit Odisha coast at Puri, battered the pilgrim city and turned it into a pile of debris in few hours.
Though the India Meteorological Department had forecasted a maximum wind speed of 200 kmph at the place of landfall, the cyclonic storm clocked more than 274 kmph in Puri as per an official of the Puri Meteorological Centre.
Speaking to English daily Hindustan Times, Hrusikesh Panda, officer in charge of the weather office, said that FANI was possibly as strong as the 1999 Super Cyclone. An anemometer installed at the weather monitoring station on Puri sea beach broke after registering gust having speed of 274 kmph, said Panda.
The calamity claimed at least 21 lives, injured around 160 people and caused extensive damage to all kutcha houses in Puri.