A day after cyclonic storm Fani ravaged parts of Odisha, killing at least 12 people, a massive restoration and relief work was launched on war-footing Saturday across 10,000 villages and urban areas.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm, which made landfall at Puri on Friday, unleashed copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 200 kmph, blowing away thatched roofs of houses, swamped towns and villages, before weakening and entering West Bengal.
The death toll due to the calamity, which stood at eight on Friday, mounted to 12 with four fresh casualties reported from Mayurbhanj district, the officials said, adding, detailed information from many areas was still awaited.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and discussed the prevailing situation in the aftermath of the cyclone's landfall in the coastal state.
The prime minister assured continuous support from the central government.
"Spoke to Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Ji and discussed the situation prevailing due to Cyclone Fani. Assured continuous support from the Central Government ... The entire nation stands in solidarity with all those affected by the cyclone in different parts," PM Modi said in a tweet.
The prime minister has been relentlessly working to ensure the damage to life and property is minimised over the course of this storm.
In an interaction with Rajat Sharma, editor-in-chief and chairman, India TV, too, PM Modi said how he has been in touch with officials over the prevailing conditions in Odisha and nearby areas.
"You can check my call records. I have been in constant touch with the officials of different states over Cyclone Fani. We cannot stop the storm from making a landfall. We can only try minimise its impact and the damage it causes. I am only thinking about how to do that. We have been relentlessly working," PM Modi said, in a historic interview with India TV.
Meanwhile, restoration work is in full swing in Odisha and West Bengal. Men and machinery of the NDRF, the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire services have swung into action and launched a massive restoration work to bring back normalcy, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said.
(with inputs from agencies)