Hundreds of thousands of people were still without power and others were struggling to access food, water and medicines a week after a powerful cyclone hit India's eastern state of Odisha, officials and reports said Friday.
Cyclone Fani struck near the temple town of Puri last Friday with winds of 205 kilometres per hour, killing 41 people before it moved to Bangladesh and waned.
With power transmission towers and lines damaged in the worst-hit districts of Puri, Khurda, Jajpur and Cuttack, electricity, telecommunications and water supplies have been disrupted.
Puri and the affected coastal areas resembled ghost towns, and debris and broken trees were still to be removed by the sides of roads, media reports said.
‘An estimated 1.1 million consumers still have to get power connections restored. Potable water supplies are still a problem in rural areas,’ a state disaster management official said.
‘Hundreds of homeless are still in relief shelters and need to be rehabilitated,’ he added.
The National Human Rights Commission has sought an explanation from Odisha's government after reports said thousands of cyclone-affected people came out to protest on the streets of Puri and Khurda about lack of access to food and water.
Authorities managed to evacuate of 1.2 million people in Odisha in advance of the cyclone.
Fani, which means hood of the snake in Bengali, is among the most severe storms to have hit the country in two decades. More than 10,000 people were killed in 1999 when a cyclone packing winds up to 260 kilometres per hour slammed into Odisha.
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