Monday October 21, 2019
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Heavy Drenching in Bengal, Cyclone Fani Strongest Storm in Decades

"The rains will continue till early morning on Saturday, and the weather will start improving by evening"

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Kharagpur has so far recorded 95 mm rainfall, which will continue for the next two to three hours. Pixabay

Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, uprooted trees and triggered rains as it entered West Bengal post midnight on Saturday, hours after making landfall and causing havoc in Odisha on Friday.

No loss of life or any injury has been reported so far.

According to the Meteorological department, the extremely severe cyclonic storm relatively weakened after entering coastal Odisha and transformed into “very severe” as it approached Bengal.

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In the sea resort of Digha, the win speed reached 70 kmph in some areas, in Frazerganj the wind velocity was between 60 and 70 kmph. Pixabay

“The severe cyclonic storm Fani entered Bengal at 12.30 a.m. through Odisha’s Balasore. It crossed Kharagpur packing a wind of 70-80 kmph, gusting to 90 kmph,” Regional Meteorological Centre’s Deputy Director General Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, said.

The storm is now lying close to Arambagh in Hooghly district, and is 40 km west of Kolkata.

“It is likely to continue further in north, north east direction, and reach the east Burdwan-Hooghly border, and through Nadia go to Bangladesh on Saturday afternoon, weakening into a cyclonic storm, after having triggered rains,” Bandyopadhyay said.

Fani lashed cities and towns in coastal Bengal including Digha, Mandarmani, Tajpur, Sandehskhali and Contai while the effects of the storm could also be felt in cities like Kharagpur and Burdwan as trees were uprooted and metal hoardings gave way.

Parts of Kolkata and the suburbs also received moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon.

The epicentre of the storm is expected to hit the city in the early hours on Saturday.

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The storm is now lying close to Arambagh in Hooghly district, and is 40 km west of Kolkata. Pixabay

The rains would continue till early Saturday.

In the sea resort of Digha, the win speed reached 70 kmph in some areas, in Frazerganj the wind velocity was between 60 and 70 kmph.

Kharagpur has so far recorded 95 mm rainfall, which will continue for the next two to three hours.

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“The rains will continue till early morning on Saturday, and the weather will start improving by evening,” he said.

The administration has switched off electricity to prevent any accident as the storm passed through a particular point in the state. (IANS)

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WFP: Nearly 2 Million Mozambique Cyclone Survivors Face Imminent Food Shortage

The impact of these two disasters lingers on, threatening widespread hunger among survivors of these twin disasters

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Survivors of Cyclone Idai wait in an abandoned and derelict building near Nhamatanda, about 50 kilometers from Beira, in Mozambique, March, 22, 2019. VOA

The World Food Program warns 1.9 million Mozambicans battered by two devastating cyclones earlier this year are at risk of severe food shortages without urgent international assistance.

Hundreds of people were killed, tens of thousands made homeless and livelihoods lost when Cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit Mozambique with devastating force in March and April. The destructive power of the two storms has wreaked havoc on the country’s infrastructure and agriculture.

Many crops that were about to be harvested and farm infrastructure were destroyed.  The impact of these two disasters lingers on, threatening widespread hunger among survivors of these twin disasters.

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A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, Mozambique, April 4, 2019. VOA

World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel says more than 1.6 million people are suffering from acute food insecurity and the worst is yet to come.

“It is expected that the upcoming lean season it will be very difficult in Mozambique with just below 2 million people projected to be in crisis situation if there is no humanitarian intervention before,” Verhoosel said. “The lean season is the period from October this year until the next harvest season in March 2020.”

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Verhoosel says WFP is planning to assist more than 560,000 people every month through October in both cyclone and drought affected areas.  He says his agency hopes to scale up its humanitarian operation when the lean season kicks in in October.

If the money is available, he says WFP will provide food rations to one-and-one quarter million people every month until March when the next harvest season begins.  He says WFP will need slightly more than $100 million to implement its recovery plan over the next six months. (VOA)