As Odisha braces for Cyclone Fani which is expected to make landfall near Puri Friday afternoon, the India Meteorological Department said the endeavour is to make it a zero-casualty cyclone, so far achieved only by Hong Kong.
Speaking at the Idea Exchange programme of The Indian Express Thursday, K J Ramesh, Director General of IMD, said: “In this cyclone, there are not going to be any surprises in terms of change of track or intensity. These are the usual points of concern. No such uncertainty exists as far as this cyclone is concerned… What we need to do is to give hourly updates on intensity changes and pockets of heavy precipitation and strong winds… We want to make this a zero-casualty cyclone, something that only Hong Kong has done so far.”
The landfall initiation, when the outer spiral of the cyclone hits land, is expected around 11 am near Puri. The landfall, which is when the centre of the cyclone reaches land, is expected by 2 pm, Ramesh said.
“By around 4 pm, the landfall process will be complete. After that Cyclone Fani will start moving towards West Bengal… By then, the damaging potential will be lowered. Strong winds and rain are expected. In costal Bengal, land inundation is expected,” he said.
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As the cyclone moves towards West Bengal, Bangladesh and Meghalaya, its impact will be felt less, with Kolkata expected to see only rain.
“Managing the damage is all about logistics and response. Sometimes, cyclonic pockets on the eastern side of the centre move to the northern or western sides. Changes need to be communicated to those pockets on the ground to minimise exposure. These are dynamic and are monitored by radar. As of now, the progress is being monitored by Gopalpur and Visakhapatnam radar. By night, the Paradip radar will also start capturing it. Tomorrow evening, Calcutta radar will be monitoring it,” Ramesh said.