Recover efforts are ongoing in parts of India and Bangladesh that were affected by the passage of Cyclone Fani as of Sunday, May 5. The storm, which made landfall near Puri (Odisha state, India) on Friday, May 3, left at least 16 people dead across Odisha state and some 116 others injured; Fani also left at least 17 people dead and 63 others injured in Bangladesh. While the initial death toll has been low compared to previous cyclones that have hit the region, significant infrastructure and material damage has been reported in both countries. Authorities have credited the massive evacuation efforts before the storm hit for the low casualty count.
Bangladesh’s National Disaster Response Coordination Centre has reported that at least 13,000 homes were damaged from the storm, with around 2240 being completely destroyed. As of Sunday morning (local time), all water transportation services that had been suspended since Thursday, May 2, have resumed. However, authorities have warned that coastal districts may continue to experience heavy rain and flooding through May 5. Airlines canceled 13 flights on Saturday, May 4, as Fani moved through the country, but further delays are not expected.
In India, Odisha state remains the most heavily affected by the cyclone. According to officials, critical infrastructure in Puri and Khurda districts was destroyed; in some areas electrical, telecom, and water systems will need to be completely rebuilt. Over 10,000 electrical poles were uprooted by the storm in the city of Bhubaneswar, causing significant power outages. As of Saturday night, efforts were ongoing to restore power to critical facilities like the airport, hospitals, and the railway station. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that he will travel to Odisha on Monday, May 6, in a show of support from the central government. Recovery efforts are also ongoing in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh states.
Individuals in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate severe weather conditions and associated disruptions to the power supply, telecommunications, and transportation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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