Severe cyclonic storm Fani made landfall on Odisha's coast on Friday morning at around 8 am. Heavy rains and winds with a speed of up to 175 kmph has uprooted trees and swept away huts in the coastal state. As many as 11 lakh and 54 thousand people have been evacuated in Odisha so far. The seaside pilgrim town of Puri was left submerged as the severe storm alarmingly rolled towards the coastal state. "It will take around three hours for the entire landfall process to be completed" by 11 am, PTI quoted H R Biswas, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar. The "eye" of the cyclonic system is around 28 km wide and is moving at around 30 kmph, Biswas said. However, within the system, the winds are reaching the speeds of up to 175 kmph and may go up to 200 kmph, leaving debris and wreckage behind. "High winds are also sweeping across several coastal districts like Ganjam, Khurda and Gajapati", the report quoted B P Sethi, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), as saying. He added that nearly 11 lakh people were evacuated from about 10,000 villages and 52 urban areas and are now accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres.
If a cyclone makes landfall it implies that the first arm of the cyclone has reached the land. No casualty has been reported so far and the government is ready to deal with any eventuality, Sethi added. Over 200 trains and all Odisha bound flights have been cancelled after the weather department warned of an enormous storm surging ahead at high speed.
Cyclone Fani: Here are some of the major developments
- As per latest developments in view of severe cyclonic storm Fani which is rolling towards coastal West Bengal, Kolkata Airport will remain shut from 3 pm to 8 am tomorrow.
- Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed the airlines to immediately respond to concerns of passengers who are left stranded in wake of the cyclonic storm.
- As per reports, the severe cyclonic storm is very likely to move North-Northeastwards and is likely to weaken in the next 3 hours.
- According to Mrityunjay Mohapatra, IMD Delhi, "The cyclone has moved away from Andhra Pradesh. So, we have issued a de-warning. 3 districts in the state were impacted by heavy rainfall".
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing a rally in Rajasthan's Hindaun has said that the Centre stands in solidarity with the people of cyclone-affected states. He added that after heading a review meeting yesterday; more than Rs 1,000 crore were released for states affected by the severe storm.
- The cyclonic storm Fani is likely to trigger heavy rainfall in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand today.
- Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that the Centre will work with state governments of affected states to assist them in relief operations, in wake of the cyclonic storm.
- Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has said that it had made arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supply of petrol, diesel, LPG and jet fuel in the state of Odisha and West Bengal, which have been severely affected by the storm.
- Indian Navy has said that its P-81 and Dornier are scheduled to be launched in the afternoon to take an aerial survey to assess the extent of impact and devastation post Fani crosses the coast.
- According to Health Secretary Preeti Sudan, extensive damage to structure of AIIMS Bhubaneswar has been reported due to Cyclone Fani. However, all patients, staff and students are safe. Many water tanks have been blown off, lighting poles are down, air conditioners are damaged. She added that they have enough supplies and are ready to support the state.
(Edited by: Nehal Solanki)