MILLIONS of people are living without power or shelter in eastern India, a week after devastating cyclone hit the region, officials said last Saturday, as reports emerged of angry survivors protesting over the slow pace of relief.

At least 42 plus people lost their lives in India's Odisha state and neighbouring Bangladesh after cyclone Fani barrelled into the region on May 3, packing winds of up to 200 kilometres [125 miles an hour].

''The destruction has taken place over a large area. The damage to power infrastructure is unprecedented,'' Bishnupada Sethi, special relief commissioner of Odisha state, told AFP.

Sethi who is overseeing efforts in Odisha, said that the cyclone affected around 16.5  million people in the state.

''Half a million houses have been damaged, 8.7 million stock affected [dead, injured, missing, displaced], 3.7 million poultry birds are dead and we're still making efforts to restore the [entire]  telecommunication network,'' he said.

Officials said that power had only been restored to around 50 percent of the one million residents in the state capital of Bhubaneswar, while the most extensive damages hit the neighbouring city of  Puri, where the cyclone made landfall.

Puri, which is home to around 200,000 people is also one of the country's most important Hindu pilgrimage sites including the ancient Shree Jagnnath Temple and the Sun Temple.

A team from the Archaeological Survey of India is currently assessing the damage to both the World Heritage monuments. [Agencies] 


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