The United States’ space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Thursday released images depicting power outages in Odisha after the Cyclone Fani struck the state’s coast last week. Cyclone Fani, one of the worst storms to hit India since 1999, killed 41 people in the state.
NASA released multiple visuals of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, comparing the lights in the cities before and after the cyclone.
“The images on this page are data visualisations of where the lights went out across some of the worst affected areas in Odisha,” NASA said in an article on their website. “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 be re-installed.”
“These images were made from data acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite on the Suomi NPP satellite,” NASA’s article said. “VIIRS has a ‘day-night band’ that detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared, including reflected moonlight, light from fires and oil wells, lightning, and emissions from cities or other human activity.”
Cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha on May 3. Nearly 10 lakh people from the state were evacuated to about 5,000 temporary shelters. Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Khurda were among the worst-affected districts in the state. Thousands of people in Puri and Bhubaneswar have been without electricity even after the Odisha government’s assurance that the capital would be restored to normalcy by May 12.
“Electricity service in 80% areas of Bhubaneswar is likely to be restored by My 10,” Information and Public Relations Commissioner and Secretary Sanjay Singh told IANS on Wednesday. “Entire city may get electricity by May 12.”
Cyclone Fani damaged distribution transformers and low tension lines apart from five towers of 400 kilovolt capacity, 27 towers of 220 kilovolt capacity, 21 towers of 130 kilovolt capacity, four grids of 220 kilovolt capacity, and four grids of 132 kilovolt capacity, Hindustan Times reported.
The National Crisis Management Committee had held a meeting on Wednesday to assess the rescue and relief measures being carried out after Cyclone Fani’s rampage. The state and the Centre have come up with a detailed plan that has identified focus areas for power restoration and water supply in Puri and Bhubaneswar.
The Odisha government also said that they have received the financial aid of Rs 1,000 crore that the Centre had promised. On May 5, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced financial assistance and relief packages for those affected by the cyclone. The severely affected families, covered under the National Food Security Act in Puri and Khurda will get 50 kg of rice, Rs 2,000 and polythene sheets.