Cyclone Fani to make landfall in Odisha's Puri on 3 May; Navy, NDRF, state authorities on alert

Cyclone Fani is expected to make a landfall in Odisha’s temple town of Puri, between Gopalpur and Chandbali, during the afternoon of 3 May

FP Staff May 01, 2019 21:06:06 IST
Cyclone Fani to make landfall in Odisha's Puri on 3 May; Navy, NDRF, state authorities on alert
  • Cyclone Fani is expected to make a landfall in Odisha’s temple town of Puri during on 3 May

  • The impact of Fani is expected to be much more severe than cyclone Titli, which had killed 60 people last year

  • The Election Commission lifted the Model Code of Conduct in 11 coastal districts in Odisha

Cyclone Fani is expected to make a landfall in Odisha’s temple town of Puri, between Gopalpur and Chandbali, during the afternoon of 3 May.

Heavy rains are very likely at isolated places over Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya. 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. In addition, 24 teams are on alert at NDRF bases, reported ANI.

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. Gusty wind with speed 30-40 km per hour is also likely at isolated places over Odisha and gangetic West Bengal, the NDMA said.

A red alert has been sounded in Srikakulam district of north coastal Andhra Pradesh. Heavy rainfall has also been predicted in adjoining Vizianagaram district and scattered rainfall in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts along the Bay of Bengal. As many as 11 mandals along the Bay of Bengal coast in Srikakulam are expected to bear the brunt of Fani.

Cyclone Fani to make landfall in Odishas Puri on 3 May Navy NDRF state authorities on alert

Representational image. Reuters

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.

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. In a video conference with Union Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, Padhi sought two helicopters be stationed in a state for emergency and additional NDRF personnel for rescue and relief operation.

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.

Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are standing by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid, the Navy said in a statement. Distant warning signal II (DW-II) has been hoisted in all ports of Odisha.

"These ships are embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats and relief material that include food, tentage, clothes, medicines, blankets, in quantities sufficient. Naval aircraft are also standing-by at the Naval Air Stations INS Rajali at Arakkonam, Tamilnadu and INS Dega at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material to the stranded if required," the Navy 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.

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 Code of Conduct in 11 coastal districts. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s request to withdraw the poll code to facilitate speedy rescue and rehabilitation activities invited BJP leader Dharmendra Pradhan’s accusation that the BJD chief was arm-twisting the elections body for political benefits.

Pradhan tweeted, “The impact and severity of the cyclone will be known sufficiently before 19 May. Therefore, it is too early to take a call on postponing the elections. Also, since the cyclone will landfall in Odisha on 3 May, there still will be sufficient gap for relief and restoration.”

The Odisha government has cancelled all leaves of doctors and health staff up to 15 May to deal with any possible situation. Those who are on leave have been asked to report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening. As many as 74 trains have been cancelled by the East Coast Railway between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram from Thursday

The move will also expedite the work being undertaken to combat the cyclone in the coastal region, spread across Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur areas, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Surendra Kumar told PTI.

According to Zee News, IMD Kolkata said that West Bengal would face significant damage due to Cyclone Fani. According to IMD Kolkata, Cyclone Fani will completely damage the thatched houses in the coastal districts, while kaccha houses are set to witness extensive damage. The cyclonic storm will leave pucca houses partially damaged, said IMD Kolkata. It is feared that Cyclone Foni would also damage roads, train lines and crop fields in the state.

The central government has already released advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal to assist them 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.

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.

With tidal waves likely to inundate vast areas in the coastal districts, evacuation of people from all low-lying and vulnerable areas will be completed on Thursday, according to PTI.

Twelve senior officials were on Wednesday assigned for supervision of restoration works in the coastal districts of Puri, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Cuttack. “Evacuation and rescue of people likely to be affected to safe places, restoration of road communication immediately after cyclone, and proper distribution of relief materials with zero casualties are is the foremost priority of Odisha Police,” State Director General of Police RP Sharma told The Hindu.

Currently, a ‘yellow warning’ has been issued in Kerala, indicating the complete suspension of fishing activities, extensive evacuation of coastal and low-lying areas and diversion of rail and road traffic. People have been advised to stay indoors.

The wind speed of a cyclonic storm is 80-90 kmph gusting up to 100 kmph. In case of an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm', the wind speed goes up to 170-180 kmph and could gain the speed of 195-200 kmph.

On Wednesday evening, the cyclone has moved northwestwards with a speed of about 10 kmph and lay centred over west central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal, about 680 km south-southwest of Puri and 430 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

The Global Precipitation Measurement mission or GPM core satellite, a joint mission between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, passed over the Fani, found the heaviest rainfall was in an area south of the centre of circulation around 8 am on Wednesday. The rain was falling there at a rate of about 1.6 inches (40 mm) per hour. Rainfall was occurring at a rate around one inch (25 mm) per hour in bands of thunderstorms circling the centre.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted, "Animated enhanced infrared satellite imagery reveals significant consolidation in the convective structure and a better idea of the location of the low-level circulation centre. There is high confidence in the initial position based on an eye feature in a microwave satellite image."

Simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections were held in Odisha in four phases between 11 and 29 April.

With inputs from agencies

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