Bhubaneswar: NASA has released images showing who millions of households in Odisha saw power outages in the wake of Cyclone Fani which was one of the worst storms to hit India since 1999.
Cyclone Fani made landfall on Friday last and left 41 people dead and 1.48 crore affected. In the images released on Thursday, NASA compares the lighting in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack before and after the storm.
The space agency has shared an article on its website where it explains that the images show “where the lights went out across some of the worst affected areas in Odisha.” “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 re-installed,” it says.
About the process that went into capturing the images, NASA said it was done through “data acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite”. “A team of scientists from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Marshall Space Flight Center processed and corrected the raw VIIRS data to filter out stray light from natural sources (for example, moonlight) and from atmospheric interference, such as dust, haze, and thin clouds.”
Cyclone Fani had made a landfall in Odisha on May 3. Almost a million people from the state were evacuated to nearly 5,000 temporary shelters hours before its landfall.
The Home Ministry has claimed that the power situation in eight of the nine cyclone-hit districts of Odisha had improved.
Odisha’s Information and Public Relations Secretary Sanjay Singh said, “There has been massive damage to power infrastructure in the state particularly in the districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Kendrapada. On a war footing, we are working for the restoration of power infrastructure.”
He said that restoration of water supply was the first priority after the cyclone and it had been achieved in both Bhubaneswar and most parts of Puri. “We have engaged diesel generators in places for running the water pumps where electricity is not available,” he said.
“We will be able to fully restore power supply in the state capital by May 12,” he added while briefing the media on the restoration works. On the power restoration problem, he said that work was on in full swing with additional skilled manpower drawn from states like West Bengal, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. “While 80 per cent of electricity consumers will get power by May 10, the process will be completed by May 12 in Bhubaneswar,” he added.