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Cyclone Fani: The worst is over, but picking up the pieces won’t be easy by Dasgupta KumKum Dasgupta May 07,2019   |  Source: Hindustan Times

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conducted an aerial survey of Puri and Khurdha districts of Odisha to see for himself the scale of devastation caused by Cyclone Fani, which made landfall in the state on May 3. During the prime minister’s visit, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said Odisha deserves “special category status” for being the most disaster-prone state in India. His demand is understandable. A Super Cyclone flattened the state in 1999; in 2013, Odisha was hit by Cyclone Phailin, and in 2018 by Cyclone Titli. In 2019, it was Cyclone Fani.

While the first one killed more than 10,000 people, the death toll in the next three was below 100, thanks to the state’s improved disaster management skills. Besides these major disruptions, Odisha also had to deal with other climate-induced disasters such as heat waves, droughts, and floods. Such episodes are expected to increase in the future. The Fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2015) report predicts that India and other tropical countries will witness an increasing number of cyclones, storm surges and extreme rainfall in the future.

While the Patnaik government did well to weather Cyclone Fani — the state mobilised resources and personnel to evacuate more than a million people — and


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