Cyclone Fani latest news and Update: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani.
Cyclone in Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal LATEST news and updates: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the prime minister, Additional Principal Secretary to the PM, the Home Secretary and other senior officials from IMD, NDRF, NDMA and PMO.
Two more special trains will start from Puri at 3 pm and 6 pm today for Howrah, South Eastern Railway said. The trains will halt at Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendujhar road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur.
The Indian Meteorological Department has forewarned of heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over south coastal Odisha. Andhra's Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam towns are most likely to receive heavy rainfall.
Bracing up for the impending storm. the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri replaced the 15-feet-long Patitapabana Bana, or holy flag atop the temple with a four-feet-long variant to signify that the state should prepare for the cyclone. For Puri in Odisha, it was among the first signs of the town bracing for Cyclone Fani, which is expected to make landfall Friday.
A special train with reserved and unreserved berths will start from Puri at 12 pm today and go towards Shalimar. It will halt at Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendujhar road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur stations. The train will reach Bhubaneswar at about 1:30 pm. The Odisha government has advised tourists to leave the seaside pilgrim town of Puri by Thursday, a senior official said.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Wednesday requested the Election Commission of India to relax the Model Code of Conduct in four coastal districts to enable the state take steps in view of the cyclone threat.
The storm will make a landfall between Gopalpur and Chandbali, leading to heavy rains are very likely at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya.
Railways has cancelled 81 trains and diverted two more in view of the cyclone. Meanwhile, a red alert has been sounded in Srikakulam district of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and heavy rainfall has been predicted in adjoining Vizianagaram district.
The average rainfall in several areas will be up to 20 cm and the impact of Fani will be much more severe than 'Titli' which had hit the coast last year. At least 60 people had been killed when cyclone Titli struck Odisha in October 2018. Gusty wind with speed 40-50 km per hour is expected at isolated places over coastal Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Jammu and Kashmir, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim.
Odisha government advised tourists to leave the pilgrim town of Puri and ordered closure of all educational institutions in the state between 2 and 4 May. Mass evacuation of people from vulnerable and low-lying areas has begun.
All the 880 cyclone centres have been equipped with modern facilities and trained manpower have been readied for the purpose. Each centre can accommodate around 1000 people, Chief Secretary AP Padhi said. 335 units of fire services have also been kept ready in the state.
A total of 47 flood rescue and relief teams have been pre-positioned in 25 vulnerable/coastal areas of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to meet any eventuality arising due to the cyclone.
Navy and Coast Guard ships and helicopters, relief teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in strategic locations, while Army and Air Force units have been put on standby as the cyclonic storm is approaching the coast, officials said. The NDRF has deployed 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5) and it is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh, an official said.
The Odisha government has cancelled all leaves of doctors and health staff up to 15 May to deal with any possible situation. The central government has released advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to assist states in undertaking preventive and relief measures. Of the sanctioned amount, Odisha will receive Rs 340.87 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 309.37 crore, West Bengal Rs 235.50 crore and Andhra Pradesh will get Rs 200.25 crore.
While Odisha braces for the “extremely severe cyclonic storm”, which will sustain a wind speed of 175-185 kmph, gusting up to 205 kmph, the Election Commission lifted the Model Conduct in 11 coastal districts.