The landfall process of extremely severe Cyclone Fani has started at 8 am close to Puri in Odisha, with the area recording a wind speed of 145 kilometres per hour, the IMD said. The process of landfall is expected to continue for the next two hours, it added.
Over lakhs of people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours from the vulnerable districts in Odisha ahead of Cyclone Fani’s landfall in the state on Friday, officials said.
On Thursday, the Odisha government conveyed to the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) that10,000 villages and 52 towns located in 9 districts will be affected due to Cyclone Fani, a statement said after a meeting of the NCMC, which was headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha.
Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees. Arrangements have been made to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements over public address systems, mass SMS and local media. Teams of NDRF and ODRAF have been put in place.
Cabinet Secretary directed for establishment of a central toll-free helpline for the general public. He also asked the central Ministries to set up control rooms to coordinate rescue and relief operations. He advised all concerned to make adequate preparations to ensure the maintenance of essential services in the event of damages caused to them.
Civil Aviation Ministry informed that flight operations from Bhubaneswar was suspended from midnight of May 2.
Operations from Kolkata airport also will remain suspended from morning of May 3 and resumed as soon the conditions improve.
Railways have already suspended operations of trains in Odisha.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the three States have also been put on standby
Expressing his concern for millions stranded across three states in eastern India, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath tweeted, “I join millions in our prayers to Mother Nature to ensure that #FaniCyclone doesn’t cause us harm. We also stand by people of Odisha, AP & West Bengal in this difficult moment. I urge people to heed to advisories and take all precautions. Stay safe.”