New Delhi: National carrier Air India said that it has resumed flight operations at the Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose airport at 9:45 AM today, hours after cyclonic storm Fani entered West Bengal wreaking havoc on its path. Air India AI 743 to Agartala is the first departure from Kolkata which took place at 9.57 AM. 101 DEL CCU is the first flight which landed at Kolkata at around 10.10 AM.
As a precautionary measure, the administration had closed the Kolkata airport from 3 PM yesterday.
Air India also stepped forward to help the residents of Odisha who have been affected by Cyclone Fani. The national carrier released a statement saying, “If any (NGO/ Civil society/ SHG etc) wants to send relief materials to a cyclone-affected area of Odisha, Air India would ship it free of cost.”
With the cyclonic storm making its entry through Odisha’s Balasore at 12:30 AM today, the state received heavy rainfall. Fani is likely to continue further in the north, northeast direction, and reach the east Burdwan-Hooghly border, and through Nadia go to Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon, weakening into a cyclonic storm, after having triggered rains, said Regional Meteorological Centre’s Deputy Director General Sanjib Bandyopadhyay. (Catch all live updates on Cyclone Fani here)
Following the warning issued by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the administration had switched off electricity to prevent an accident as the storm passed through a particular point in the state.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to take stock of the situation in Odisha and West Bengal which is reeling under the effects of Cyclone Fani. He tweeted, “Spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Ji and discussed situation prevailing due to Cyclone Fani. Assured continuous support from Central Government in the wake of the cyclone. The entire nation stands in solidarity with all those affected by the cyclone in different parts.”
Cyclone Fani, which made landfall on the eastern coast of Odisha on Friday morning claimed the lives of at least eight people and left hundreds injured. The very severe cyclonic storm Fani moved over coastal Odisha moved north-northeastwards at 20 kmph in last 6 hours and weakened into a severe cyclonic storm, the IMD said.
It also added that the storm lay centred at 20.30 hours over Coastal Odisha about 110 km southwest of Midnapore in West Bengal, 80 km southwest of Digha and 210 km southwest of Kolkata.