Extremely Severe cyclonic storm Fani made landfall at the Odisha coast near Puri at 8 AM and eye of the storm completely moved over land at 10 AM. At least one million people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours from the vulnerable districts in Odisha ahead of Cyclone Fani’s landfall in the state today.
Despite extensive damage caused by near 200 kmph winds and heavy rainfall, no loss of life has been reported so far. Damaging houses, thousands of trees and electricity poles, uprooting trees, the eye of Fani almost 25 km in diametre is sending off wind velocity of 150 to 175 kmph and even above at some places touching 180 or more, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The government has evacuated more than a million people from districts affected by India’s strongest summertime cyclone in the last 43 years and asked people to remain indoors. “More than one million people have been evacuated from vulnerable districts in the last 24 hours in Odisha. In Ganjam and Puri, more than 3 lakh and 1.3 lakh people were evacuated respectively to safe shelters. About 5,000 kitchens started operating to serve people in the shelters,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s office said today..
The Odisha government has said that 10,000 villages and 52 towns in nine districts will be affected due to Cyclone Fani. It has also advised people to remain indoors.
Flight operations from Bhubaneswar were suspended from Thursday midnight and from Kolkata from Friday morning, as the cyclone — packing winds gusting up to 200 kilometres per hour and torrential rains — approached India’s eastern coast. The East Coast Railway said it has cancelled ten more trains — seven trains on May 3, one train on May 4, one train on May 6 one train on May 7. The railways had earlier cancelled 147 trains from May 1 to May 3.
The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations while the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force units in the three states have also been put on standby.