Nasa shares photos of power outage in Odisha after Cyclone Fani

Nasa shares photos of power outage in Odisha after Cyclone Fani: Millions of households had plunged into darkness after Cyclone Fani, one of the worst storms to hit India since 1999, made a landfall in Odisha last week and killed over 40 people. NASA today released several images comparing the lighting in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, often referred to as twin cities, before and after the storm.

The cyclone brought winds of more than 200 kmph when it made landfall in Odisha on May 3. The storm caused several deaths and rendered millions of people homeless in the cities of Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, and Khurda. The cyclone left a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha, with the seaside areas being the worst hit.

Cyclone Fani also had a far-reaching impact on the city’s energy infrastructure and buildings, leaving around 3.5 million households without electric power for days after the storm hit.

In an article shared on its website, the US space agency explains that the images show “where the lights went out across some of the worst affected areas in Odisha.” “The images show city lighting on April 30 (before the storm) and on May 5, 2019, two days after Fani made landfall. The storm destroyed several transmission towers and uprooted as many as 156,000 utility poles that must re-installed,” the article reads.

Telecommunication lines got snapped in several parts of state capital Bhubaneswar and several other areas. Mobile towers were damaged and the power supply was disconnected in many places. A Bhubaneswar report said scores of trees collapsed, blocking roads.

The Home Ministry on Wednesday said the power situation in eight of the nine cyclone-hit districts of Odisha has improved. “The state government has informed the Centre that situation in eight out of nine districts has improved and power and telecom services are gradually picking up in the worst-affected areas of Puri and Bhubaneswar,” a home ministry statement said.

In its article, however, NASA cited reports to highlight that “only a few percents of the people in Bhubaneswar have electricity”.

Elaborating how the images were captured, the US space agency said they 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 article reads.

NASA satellites Aqua and Terra had tracked Cyclone Fani as it moved northwards along the eastern coast of India and provided infrared, microwave and visible imagery of the storm, the agency had said earlier in a blog post.