Cyclone Fani in Odisha today: Cyclone Fani made landfall in Odisha’s Puri district Friday morning with a speed of 175 kmph. The ‘extremely severe’ storm triggered heavy rainfall along with high-velocity winds uprooting several trees and destroying thatched structures at some places including Bhubaneshwar. The wind speed may go up to 200 kmph in Puri and neighbouring areas.
Emergency helpline numbers:
Bhubaneswar- (0674-2303060, 2301525, 2301625), Khurda Road (0674-2490010, 2492511, 2492611), Sambalpur (0663- 2532230, 2533037, 2532302), Visakhapatnam– (0891- 2746255, 1072), Puri- 06752-225922, Bhadrak- 06784-230827, Cuttack- 0671-2201865, Berhampur- 0680-2229632
The state is on high alert with teams of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard and National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) on standby for rescue and relief operations.
A large part of the area in the seaside pilgrim town of Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state.
Dr Mrutyunjaya Mohapatra, ADG of the India Meteorological Department said, “Fani’s landfall process began at around 8 am. Before that, Puri saw wind speeds of around 142 kmph, with gusts upto 174 kmph”.
Sources in the Bhubaneswar MET and the office of the State Relief Commissioner were hopeful of minimising casualties as “Fani behaved so far exactly as predicted”. They also added that Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts may be most affected and the waves can rise up to 1.5 metres.
Met sources also said that very heavy rainfall is likely to follow the cyclone, with isolated places getting extremely heavy rainfall. “It is hard to predict the latter”, said a senior officer.
“As the cyclone moves completely into the land, it will be cut off from its energy source- the sea,” Mohapatra added. Predicting wind speeds and rain will subside by Saturday, he said that the cyclone winds could drop to around 110 kmph by the time it reaches north Odisha.
“The cyclone has entered the Odisha coast at Puri around 8 am and it will take around three hours for the entire landfall process to be completed,” PTI quoted HR Biswas, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, as saying. He also said, “The cyclonic system, whose eye is around 28 km, is moving at around 30 kmph.”
The high-velocity wind is sweeping across several coastal districts like Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Gajapati, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said. Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal district and the evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres.
No casualty has been reported so far. Other states on the eastern coast, such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, are also likely to be affected.
👶 While #CycloneFani makes landfall, a baby is born at the Mancheswar railway hospital!
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) May 3, 2019
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has confirmed that after making landfall in Odisha, Cyclone Fani is now likely to move north-northeastwards and weaken into a “very severe cyclonic storm” in the next six hours.
The East Coast Railways (ECoR) issued a statement saying as many as 103 trains have been cancelled in Odisha alone. Keeping in view the intensifying situation, the ECoR cancelled four more trains today. The trains which have been cancelled include the Bhubaneshwar-Bangiriposi Express (12891), RajyaRani Express from Rourkela to Kamakhya (18117), Secunderabad-Kamakhya Express (07149) and special train from Santragachhi to Chennai (02841). The railways have also diverted several trains running on the south route.
— Liz Mathew (@MathewLiz) May 3, 2019
Several airlines including Air India, SpiceJet, Indigo and Vistara have cancelled the flight operations in Odisha and West Bengal.
With inputs from Sampad Patnaik.