In 1568 Afghan ruler Sulaiman Kirrani the then Sultan of Bengal with the support of his merciless Bengali general Kalapahad invaded Odisha and plundered, plummeted and completely ransacked especially temples, pilgrimages and turned it into shambles with grave repercussions in terms of pity, poverty, powerless and hapless. The then Gajapati Mukunda Dev was made kingdom less and forced to take asylum outside his empire. Odisha was pushed into the corner of darkness and miseries. On 3rd May 2019, Odisha simply contemplated and commemorated the barbarian Kalapahad invasion in the name of Cyclone Fani.
As the name Fani wisely denoted by the International Meteorological Organisation(IMO) related to a sobriquet in Bangladesh that is the hood of a snake. The north Indian Ocean tropical cyclone(TC) Foni hood was so gigantic that it completely enveloped and galloped the coastal districts in 18 hours. In the last 24 hours, Odisha battered one of the fierce battles similar to Kalpahad invasion with the ferocious extremely severe cyclone Fani. Though the causalities were far meagre i;e 6 than 1999 super cyclone’s 10,000 but the volume of property destroyed and damaged is yet to be ascertained by the officials.
The epicenter of devastation was the City of Joy and pilgrim Puri. It shattered the city into shambles in hours. People lost their life, living hood and shelter. The Cyclonic Fani made a landfall at 10 km away from Puri towards another Picturesque town Konark at a place called Balikhanda around eight a.m with boisterous and roaring winds and unleashing torrential rain and wind storm that gusted up to 210km/h. Trees and electric poles were found uprooted creating roadblocks and chaos. Low lying areas between Puri and Chilika was besieged in no time.
After wreaking the havoc and taking a toll on life and property in Puri, the Fani expeditiously marched to conquer the city of temples; Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha with a wind speed of 140to 150 km/h. In no time the city was castled and trail with devastations. Starting Bhubaneswar International Airport to AIIMS, most of the places in the city countered the mayhem. The mayhem continued for 5 long hours leaving 3 dead and around hundreds wounded and bruised. Electric and power supply was completely cut off the city from the rest of the world. Poverty-stricken people forced to shelter in their proximity schools, colleges, and corporate offices.
Not only Puri and Bhubaneswar the entire coastal Odisha was could not make themselves free from the clutch of fearsome cyclone Foni. Coastal districts such as Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, and Balasore faced the natural calamity havoc and toll on life and property.
To restore the normalcy is an upheaval task for the local government when the poll result is waiting in the wings in the more than a fortnight. Although Central govt has extended its support in all possible means and stood by the state’s misery and adversary in this crunch time it is the execution and channelization most quintessential portion to be taken place.
As loot of the black pagoda(Konark temple) and Whitepagoda(Puri Temple) and other exotic sculptured temples by the Kalapahad pushed Odisha into lightless poverty, a similar effect was on Odisha economy due to Cyclone Fani. Two of the Odisha top tourist destinations, Puri and Bhubaneswar who were the mainstays of pilgrimages were completely shaken by the unexpected disaster overnight. Odisha is once again pushed to the corner of poverty and darkness, which has been steadily surpassing in the last decade post-1999 super cyclone. It is high time for govt and private agencies to come forward to facilitate the quick transformation of the state which is down and dusted and looking down the barrel defeated.