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Subadh Kumar Nayak

Puri: Cyclone Fani has not only claimed 41 human lives, so far, but also severely affected animals and birds in large numbers. While preliminary estimates suggest that 69.17 lakh animals and birds were affected by cyclone Fani, secretary of I&PR department today informed that 21.75 lakh chickens were killed. The number of the perished livestock and poultry is likely to go up as the state government is yet to get detailed reports in this regard.

Poultry farm owners suffered massive losses in the cyclone and are now under severe mental stress owing to debt burden.

“All our hopes have been shattered. While our houses have been damaged completely, all our livestock were killed in the cyclone,” said a woman in the cyclone Fani-affected area.

“We had a 6,000-chicken capacity poultry farm. However, all of them died. While 300-400 died instantly in the cyclone, others were killed after the asbestos roof caved in due to heavy wind,” said a poultry farm owner.

Another poultry farm owner said, “We had taken loans to set up poultry farm with 10,000 chicken. But all our chickens were killed in the cyclone. We lost around Rs 40 lakh.”

Similarly, around 70-80 per cent trees have either been uprooted or broken inside the Balukhand sanctuary in Puri district. Some species of animals are said to have died in the sanctuary due to the cyclone. However, around 4,000 deer and some other animals have fled to the nearby forested area. Concerned DFO, Harshvardhan Udgata said that the species of animals are gradually returning to the sanctuary.

“Most of the deer and other animals have gone to the nearby villages to hide in the bushy areas and are returning slowly,” the DFO said.

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