Millions of households in Odisha were engulfed in darkness even days after the extremely severe Cyclone Fani battered the coastal state, killing at least 41 people.
US space agency NASA on Wednesday released images of Bhubaneswar showing city lighting on April 30 (before the storm) and on May 5, two days after Fani made landfall.
Another set of images showed nighttime lights in Cuttack, Odisha’s second largest city, which lies just north of Bhubaneswar.
Explaining how the images were captured NASA said, “these images were made from 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.”
The cyclonic storm destroyed several transmission towers and uprooted as many as 156,000 utility poles, according to the NASA report.
The cyclone brought winds of more than 200 kilometres per hour when it made landfall on the morning of May 3.
The cyclonic storm has damaged numerous electricity towers, four 220 KV grids at Chandaka, Bidanasi, Samagra and Mendhasala, and four 132 KV grids at Puri, Nimapada, Mancheswar and Ransinghpur.
Besides, 5,030 km of 33 KV lines, 38,613 km of 11 KV lines, 11,077 distribution transformers and 79,485 km of LT lines have been damaged.
The state administration is still struggling to restore electricity in the worst affected Puri and parts of Khurdha district, including in the state capital Bhubaneswar.
The government had said that electricity service in 80 per cent areas of Bhubaneswar is likely to be restored by May 10. Entire city may get electricity by May 12.