How Cyclone Fani damaged Chilika, India's biggest brackish water lake?

With an eco system that supports 200 species of fish and 500 species of flora and fauna, the Chilika Lake spreads across the Puri, Khurda and Ganjam districts of Odisha state on the east coast of India before draining out into the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest brackish water lake in Asia, covering an area of nearly 1,100 square kilometres. The effects of Cyclone Fani - the severe cyclonic storm that struck the coastal parts of Odisha on May 3 - led to the opening of four new mouths into the sea, disturbing the fine balance of the lake’s ecosystem. This can lead to a decline in fish production as “any disturbance to the salinity gradient either by incursion of more freshwater, polluted water or seawater can be detrimental to the health and survival of all the species that Chilika supports”, according to Ajit Pattnaik, former chief executive of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA). CDA has been monitoring the salinity level and the long-term environmental impacts the Cyclone possess.