As days go by, the impact of Cyclone Fani appears more severe

As days go by, the impact of Cyclone Fani appears more severe


Initial media reports suggest how timely interventions by various official agencies in Odisha prevented loss of human lives when Cyclone Fani hit that state on 3rd May. However, it is essential to also take into account recent official reports by different agencies, which indicate that the impact of the cyclone has been quite severe.

A situation assessment report on the impact of Fani cyclone dated 15th May, 2019, which was released by the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) of Odisha State Disaster Management Authority (http://www.osdma.org), mentions that so far 64 human lives have been lost due to the cyclone, ranging from 3 deaths each in Kendrapada and Jajpur districts to 39 deaths in Puri district. Please consult table-1 below.

Table 1: Human casualty in various district during Cyclone Fani
 
Table 1 Human casualty in various district during Cyclone Fani

Source: Situation Report on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm – ‘FANI’, dated 15th May, 2019 (3.30PM), State Emergency Operation Center (Bhubaneswar), please click here to access 
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The report of the SEOC dated 15th May, 2019 shows that although 25 persons succumbed to death due to falling of wall, 20 others died thanks to falling of tree/ electricity pole/ hoarding or something else when they were outside. Six persons died owing to falling of roof/ asbestos. The death of 13 persons is yet to be ascertained. Please check table-2.

Table 2: Analysis of causal factors of human deaths due to Cyclone Fani
 
Table 2 Analysis of causal factors of human deaths due to Cyclone Fani 
Source: Situation Report on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm – ‘FANI’, dated 15th May, 2019 (3.30PM), State Emergency Operation Center (Bhubaneswar), please click here to access 
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Impact of Cyclone Fani on the agrarian sector

Nearly 41.63 lakh poultry birds were killed during Cyclone Fani. Almost 2,571 large animals (like cows and buffaloes) and 2,804 small animals (such as goats) died due to the natural disaster, as per latest available information.

The cyclone affected nearly 88 lakh farm animals including 24.43 lakh large animals, 9.95 lakh small animals and 53.67 lakh poultry birds.  

Nearly 1.82 lakh hectare of crop area has been affected by the extremely severe cyclonic storm (ESCS). However, according to a news report in The Hindu dated 11th May 2019, if one takes into account the damage to storage facilities and harvested crops that is stored in the open, the adverse impact of Cyclone Fani could be much more.

Experts, according to The Hindu news report, say that due to low insurance penetration in the poultry sector, monetary losses to the poultry owners is expected to go up. Since weather-related losses are usually low during winter, paddy, pulses and oilseeds, which are grown in that season, are left uninsured. In Odisha, insurance penetration in the horticulture sector too is low. So, monetary losses to growers of winter or rabi crops and horticultural crops is predicted to be much higher.

Latest available information indicates that around 5.08 lakh houses were damaged during the cyclone and a population of 1.66 crore has been affected by it. A preliminary report of the Odisha government has estimated losses to the tune of Rs. 11,942 crore on account of damages done by Cyclone Fani, mentions a news report by The Hindu dated 15th May, 2019.   

The cyclonic storm affected 18,388 villages, 52 urban local bodies (ULBs), 159 blocks and 14 districts (namely Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh and Puri) altogether in Odisha.

Initial appraisal
 
According to the Situation Report on ESCS by SEOC dated 3rd May, 2019 (at 6.00PM), Cyclone Fani caused large-scale devastation to summer crops, orchards and plantations. A large number of trees were uprooted on account of the cyclone, which resulted in disruption of road transport and communications. The cyclone also caused extensive damage to dwelling houses. It has been found that almost all kutcha and old pucca houses were either fully or severely damaged. Power supply was disrupted due to the uprooting of electricity poles and damage to substations and KV lines. Telecom towers got damaged that caused disruption of cellular and telephone network services in large areas. Mobile and telephonic communication was affected in Puri district.

Chart 1: Rainfall (in mm) from 2nd May, 2019 to 8th May, 2019
 
Chart 1 Rainfall in mm during 2 May 2019 to 8 May 2019
Source: India Meteorological Department All India Weekly Weather Report 2nd to 8th May 2019, India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, please click here to access
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It is worth noting that on 3rd May, 2019 the cyclonic storm crossed Odisha coast close to Puri between 0800 and 1000 hrs with a maximum wind speed of around 175 km per hour. As against a normal rainfall of 12.1mm, Odisha received actual rainfall of 56.1mm in the period from 2nd May, 2019 to 8th May, 2019, which is almost 363.64 percent higher. Please see chart-1 for details.

References

Situation Report on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm – ‘FANI’, dated 15 May, 2019 (3.30PM), State Emergency Operation Center (Bhubaneswar), please click here to access 

Situation Report on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm – ‘FANI’, dated 3 May, 2019 (6.00PM), State Emergency Operation Center (Bhubaneswar), please click here to access 

Centre steps up relief work to restore Power and Telecommunications in cyclone affected Odisha, Ministry of Home Affairs, 7 May, 2019, please click here to access   

PM undertakes aerial survey of cyclone Fani affected areas in Odisha; reviews the situation, Prime Minister's Office, Press Information Bureau, dated 6 May, 2019, please click here to access   

India Meteorological Department All India Weekly Weather Report 2-8 May 2019, India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, please click here to access

Cyclone Fani: Odisha pegs losses at Rs.11,942 crore, The Hindu, 15 May, 2019, please click here to access 

Cyclone Fani: Initial estimate pegs crop damage at Rs. 150 crore -Priscilla Jebaraj, The Hindu, 11 May, 2019, please click here to access 

IIT Kharagpur professors behind life-saver shelters -Subhankar Chowdhury, The Telegraph, 6 May, 2019, please click here to access 
 
 
Image Courtesy: UNDP India



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