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Air India resumes flight operations at Kolkata airport, announces free of cost shipping of relief materials for cyclone victims

Air India on Saturday resumed flight operations at the Kolkata airport.

Air India resumes flight operations at Kolkata airport, announces free of cost shipping of relief materials for cyclone victims

NEW DELHI: The national carrier Air India on Saturday resumed flight operations at the Kolkata airport, which was closed on Friday in the wake of Cyclone Fani which has now reached Bangladesh.

According to news agency ANI, the Air India resumed flight operations around 9.45 AM on Saturday. The national carrier meanwhile, announced free of cost shipping of relief material for the Cyclone Fani victims.

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According to ANI, Air India waived charges for carrying relief materials to victims of cyclone `Fani` on its flights from Delhi to Odisha.

"If any (NGO/ Civil society/ SHG etc) wants to send relief materials to a cyclone-affected area of Orissa, Air India would ship it free of cost. Concern NGO/ Civil Society/ SHG etc may contact Resident Commissioner office of Orissa at Delhi to send the relief materials to Cyclone affected area of Orissa free of cost by Air India," the organisation stated in its press release.

Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, reached Bangladesh on Saturday several hours after it unleashed a trail of massive destruction claiming at least 10 lives in Odisha from where it entered West Bengal late on Friday.

After entering West Bengal, Cyclone Fani lashed towns and cities including Digha, Haldia, Tajpur, Mandarmani, Sandehskhali, Contai, Diamond Harbour, Bankura, Sriniketan, Asansol, Dumdum and Alipore. 

Apart from Kharagpur and Kolkata, effects of the storm could also be felt in Burdwan district. Trees were uprooted, power and telecom lines snapped, metal hoardings gave away as the storm swept through Bengal.

However, no loss of life or any injury was reported from West Bengal so far. Parts of Kolkata and the suburbs also received moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon.

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

The West Bengal administration switched off electricity to prevent any accident as the storm passed through a particular point in the state. 

The cyclone, which crossed Odisha coast close to Puri coast between 8 AM and 10 AM on Friday with a maximum wind speed of around 175 Kmph, caused "huge damage" in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, and Khordha districts in the state.