NASA images black layer taking over Odisha after Cyclone Fani

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NASA images black layer taking over Odisha after Cyclone Fani
NASA images black layer taking over Odisha after Cyclone Fani

New Delhi : US space agency NASA on Thursday released some images showcasing the impact of Cyclone Fani, one of the worst storms to hit India in two decades, over Odisha. With millions of people with no electricity, the state was covered under the dark layer visible from the skies.

NASA’s images compare the situation in Bhubaneswar and the nighttime lights in Cuttack, Odisha’s second largest city north of the state capital, before and after Cyclone Fani, made landfall. The agency also shared the pictures on its Twitter handle.

“The images on this page are data visualizations of 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,” NASA said in an article on Wednesday.

The Odisha government has assured the people of Odisha that the electricity in the state will be restored by May 12. 

The state has also sought the Centre’s help in the restoration of power and telecom services in Puri and Khurda districts, worst hit by Cyclone Fani, due to a shortage of skilled manpower. 

For the restoration of electricity, the state needs to reinstall as many as 1.56 lakh electric poles uprooted by the extremely severe cyclone.

Cyclone Fani damaged five towers of 400 KV capacity, 27 towers of 220 KV capacity, 21 towers of 130 KV capacity, four grids of 220 KV capacity and four grids of 132 KV capacity. Similarly, 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.

NASA said the images were made from data acquired by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite.

“VIIRS has a “day-night band” that detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared, including reflected moonlight, light from fires and oil wells, lightning, and emissions from cities or other human activity,” it said in the article.

“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,” it added.

Nearly 35 people were killed in the cyclone despite safety measures taken in advance by the authorities.