Cyclone Fani: NASA Images Reveal the Extent of Damage to the Odisha Power Grid

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Bhubaneswar: 10 days have passed since Odisha was hit by devastating cyclone “Fani”, one of the most furious cyclonic storms to have hit the state during summer, the state is still struggling to get back to normalcy. The early warnings from the various Met Departments of the country and the cyclone preparedness from the state administration might have brought down the death toll in comparison to the severity of the cyclone, the extent of damage it caused to the general infrastructure of the coastal areas of the state, specifically Cuttack, Puri, Bhubaneswar is enormous. The water, electricity, telecom and communication sectors are the worst affected.

Despite the claims made by the state administration that there is considerable progress in restoring the water and electricity supply in the worst affected areas of Cuttack, Puri, and Bhubaneswar, the water and electricity supply continues to remain elusive in most parts even after a week has gone by.  The power crisis in the cyclone-affected areas is playing havoc on the general public when the state is sizzled under an intense heat wave.

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has released satellite images of power outages in Odisha in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani. The series of images from the satellites show night lights in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack on 30th April and 5th May. According to NASA, these images are a data visualization of regions where the lights went out after cyclone and have been captured by the Visible-Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite, which was keeping eye on Cyclone Fani’s progression.

VIIRS gives the chilling information about the scale of destruction caused due to the “Fani”. There are reports of damage of 5,030 km of 33-kV lines, 38,613 km of 11-kV lines, 11,077 distribution transformers and 79,485 km of overhead-transmission by the cyclone. As per the assessment is done by the state power department, as many as 1,56,000 utility poles have been uprooted and need re-install, meanwhile, the official death toll has climbed up to 64.