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Anine-member inter-ministerial Central team has gone to Odisha to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Fani that hit the state’s coastal districts on May 3 leaving 64 dead, said media reports quoting officials.

The team is led by Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs Vivek Bharadwaj.

Over two days starting today (Monday, May 13) the team, which is to be split into two groups, will visit Puri and Khurda districts,the two districts among the places worst-hit by the cyclone.

The team will also visit some of the affected areas in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation area on Wednesday before holding a meeting with senior state government officials, including Chief Secretary AP Padhi.

The team will submit its assessment report to the Centre after completing its tour.

Cyclone Fani, which made landfall in Puri with a wind speed of up to 240 kmph on May 3, has also left at least 241 people injured.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has reportedly written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking the Union Govt for the help rendered to the state during CycloneFani and to consider sanctioning 5 lakh PMAYG special houses.

Chief Minister Patnaik has directed officials to start assessment of houses damaged in the cyclone. Patnaik also directed that the house damage assessment be completed within one week from May 15.

As per preliminary assessment, more than 5.08 lakh houses were left damaged, partially or fully, and the havoc wreaked by Cyclone Fanibattered Puri and Khurda affecting 1.4 crore people in over 16,000 villages and 51 urban local bodies. Meterologists have described Fani as India’s strongest summertime cyclone in the last 43 years.

Efforts are on to restore electricity, water supply, and telecom facilities even as a large number of areas remained in the dark for the eleventh day since May 3.

The cyclone has also caused extensive damage to trees and crops in the state. About 14 lakh trees, including thousands of coconut and mango trees, were uprooted by the ”extremely severe cyclonic storm”.

According to the state government’s preliminary assessment, over 30 per cent crop has been damaged and more than 1,00,000 hectares of agricultural land badly affected in 14 districts of the state.

Meanwhile protests over tardiness in restoration of power supply continued in the State, as a minor boy died after an electric pole fell on him in cyclone-affected Cuttack district, reporte The Hindustan Times (HT).

Protests continued in several cyclone-affected areas today as people blocked roads demanding quick restoration of power, the HT report said.

In Cuttack district, people of Talbasta panchayat under Banki block blocked Khurda-Talabasta road alleging lack of interest of CESU in restoring power supply.

“The villagers reinstalled the electric poles on their own while the electricity staff did not show any interest. The officials had promised us to restore electricity within 30 minutes after restoration work was completed, but we are yet to get electricity,” said a villager.

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