Cyclone Fani updates: Centre announces Rs 340 cr relief package; red Alert sounded in Andhra Pradesh's Srirakulam district

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Cyclone Fani updates: Centre announces Rs 340 cr relief package; red Alert sounded in Andhra Pradesh's Srirakulam district
  • 20:01 (IST)

    Odisha to get advance relief package of Rs 340 for relief and rehabiliation, says Dharmendra Pradhan

    Union minister Dharmendra Pradahan tweeted on Wednesday that he met with the Home Secretary to discuss preparations regarding Cyclone Fani. "The MHA has assured that all issues raised by Chief Secretary Odisha have been addressed and an advance relief package of ₹340 Crore has also been extended to help Odisha with relief and rehabilitation preparedness," he tweeted.

    He also said that "the MHA has assured of all possible help and co-operation to Odisha in braving Cyclone Fani and mitigating potential damages to life and resources arising out of the impending cyclone".

  • 19:29 (IST)

    Red alert sounded in Srikakulam district

    A red alert has been sounded in Srikakulam district of north coastal Andhra Pradesh Wednesday as heavy rains with winds gusting up to 120 kmph are likely under the influence of the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani.

    Heavy rainfall has also been predicted in adjoining Vizianagaram district and scattered rainfall in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts along the Bay of Bengal on 2 and 3 May.

    As many as 11 mandals along the Bay of Bengal coast in Srikakulam are expected to bear the brunt of Fani. In Vizianagaram district, seven mandals might be affected.

    PTI

  • 19:17 (IST)

    NDRF teams positioned in vulnerable areas along East coast

    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.

  • 18:58 (IST)

    Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik reviews preparedness for Cyclone Fani

  • 18:42 (IST)

    All districts of Odisha to receive very heavy rainfall on 3 May

    On 2 May, heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected in south coastal districts, also very rain expected in Puri, Khurda, Koraput and Kandhamal districts. On 3 May, all coastal districts are expected to receive very heavy rainfall, HR Biswas, Director of Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar told ANI.

    Cyclone Fani is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri during the afternoon of 3 May with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph.

  • 18:26 (IST)

    Dos and don'ts during and after a cyclone

  • 18:04 (IST)

    The section between Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar-Puri-Visakhapatnam will be cleared so that there will be no trains in the section during extreme situation, reports ANI.

  • 17:54 (IST)

    Cabinet Secretary assured every possible help, says Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan 

  • 17:50 (IST)

    Naval aircraft to undertake survey of most-affected areas, says Army's Southern Command

    Naval aircraft are kept ready at naval air stations. INS Dega and INS Rajali will undertake an aerial survey of the most affected areas and conduct casualty evacuation and air drop of relief material, as required by the state administration, Southern Command of Indian Army told ANI.

  • 17:29 (IST)

    As East Coast prepares for another summer-time disaster, here's why states like Odisha are prone to natural calamities

    India's eastern coast has a long history of devastating cyclones. 26 of the 35 deadliest tropical cyclones in world history have been Bay of Bengal storms, Down To Earth's report states.

    Pre-monsoon cyclones occur regularly but they do not have much impact, but extremely severe cyclonic storms like Fani are rare in this season. Before this, Odisha has only experienced such cyclones five times in May — in 1893, 1914, 1917, 1982 and 1989.​

    Sarat Chandra Sahu, director of Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) of SOA deemed university in Bhubaneswar attributes the severity to climate change. Environmental conditions, including the sea temperature of 30° to 31° Celsius, were favourable for intensifying the severe cyclonic storm into an extremely severe cyclonic storm

  • 17:27 (IST)

    Navy on stand-by in Vishakhapatnam; diving, medical teams ready in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha

    Ships at Visakhapatnam are standing-by with relief material for immediate deployment to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid and distress relief operations. Diving and medical teams have been kept ready for augmenting rescue and relief efforts in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, the Eastern Naval Command said in a statement.

  • 17:09 (IST)

    BJP leader Baijayant Jay Panda lauds central government and local units which have been deployed for the state's security ahead of Cyclone Fani's landfall on 3 May.

  • 16:46 (IST)

    Mass evacuation launched in Odisha

    Odisha has moved in thousands of disaster management personnel to help those living in mud-and-thatch homes in low-lying areas take shelter from Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani. "We are making best efforts to inform them about the cyclone and move these vulnerable people to cyclone shelters," Bishnupada Sethi, the state's special relief commissioner, told Reuters.

  • 16:36 (IST)

    East Coast Railways announces cancellation of 74 trains in Odisha due to cyclone Fani

    • East Coast Railway announces train cancellation in view of Cyclone Fani.
    • Train services between Bhadrak-Vizianagaram to be stopped from evening of 2 May.
    • Rail passengers advised by East Coast Railway to plan their journey accordingly.
    • Inward train services towards Bhubaneswar/Puri will be restricted from late evening of 2 May.
    • East Coast Express and Coromondal Express will not run from Howrah on 2 May.
    • Trains for Puri from Howrah on 2 May night will be cancelled. Trains towards Bangalore/Chennai/Secunderabad from Howrah cancelled on 2 May evening.
    • All trains from Puri and Bhubaneswar on 3 May cancelled.
    • All incoming trains touching Puri/Bhubaneswar on 3 May cancelled.


    Input by Sonali Singh

  • 16:14 (IST)

    Steps taken so far in preparation for Cyclone Fani:

    1. High alert in vulnerable districts
    2. While the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed 28 teams, 20 units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 335 units of fire services.
    3. Yellow warning issued, ordering suspension of fishing activities and evacuation from coastal areas.
    4. State colleges, universities to be shut between 2 and 4 May.
    5. Evacuation of people living in kuchha house in Cuttack to be moved to safer places.
    6. 880 cyclone centres readied to accommodate around 1,000 people each.
    7. Advisory to tourists to avoid travel in vulnerable states
    8. National Crisis Management Committee released an advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
    9. The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have deployed their ships and helicopters for rescue and relief operations, while the Army and Air Force are on stand-by.
    10. 41 CRPF teams have been deployed in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
    11. Five units of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have left for Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur.
    12. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel from Cuttack in Odisha are getting readied.
    13. All leaves of doctors and health staff in Odisha have been cancelled up to 15 May.
    14. East Coast Railways announced that it has cancelled all trains along the Bhadrak-Vizayamagram route from 2 May.

  • 15:59 (IST)

    IMD issued forecasts for 1 to 5 May

    Red alert warning likely in Odisha on 3 May and West Bengal on 4 May.

  • 15:50 (IST)

    Tourists asked to leave Puri as cyclone approaches

    The Odisha government advised tourists to leave the seaside pilgrim town of Puri in view of the extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' moving closer to Odisha coast, a senior official said.

    PTI

  • 15:45 (IST)

    Average rainfall in several areas will be up to 20 cm, Director of Regional Meteorological Centre HR Biswas said.

  • 15:35 (IST)

    Officers deployed to see relief and rehabilitation works in nine districts

    Nandankanan Zoological park shall be closed to visitors from 2 to 4 May. Officers have been deployed to various districts of Odisha to oversee relief, rehabilitation and restoration works after the extremely severe cyclone Fani makes landfall in Odisha.

    Input by Bibhuti Mohapatro

  • 15:29 (IST)

    Bhubaneswar’s civic body conducts preparatory meeting

    The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has conducted a meeting of its officials to ensure preparedness to tackle cyclone Fani. Bhubaneswar, which comes under the Khurda district, is also likely to see the impact of the cyclone, which will make a landfall around 65 kms away from the Bhubaneswar. The officials will discuss measures needed to tackle the cyclone.

    Input by Sonali Singh

  • 15:13 (IST)

    Villagers living in kuccha houses in Cuttack to be shifted to safe place

    Cuttack District Collector Aravind Agrawal assures all possible help for the citizens living in vulnerable areas. He said the administration has been gearing up to tackle the cyclone.

    Agrawal said, "People living in kuccha houses in vulnerable areas in Cuttack district will be shifted to safe places. Special emphasis has been given for people living in low lying areas. We are trying to ensure ample generators to ensure constant supply of drinking water. Essential drugs have also be brought in hospitals to tackle the health care issues."

    Input by Sonali Singh

  • 15:02 (IST)

    Dos and don'ts during a cyclone

    The NDMA shared a video which explains the dos and don'ts to be followed during a cyclone.

  • 14:58 (IST)

    State universities, colleges to remain closed in affected districts: ANI

    All state universities and colleges coming under administrative control of the Higher Education Dept and located in the Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts will remain closed from 2 to 4 May, ANI reported.

    All teaching, non-teaching and administrative staff of the universities and colleges will attend office as usual to conduct their normal activities other than teaching and examination, the Education, Higher Education Department said.

  • 14:30 (IST)

    Cyclone Fani around 680 km south-southwest of Puri

    According to the latest updates, Cyclone Fani is now around 680 km south-southwest of Puri and 430 km off the coast of Visakhapatnam. The cyclone is moving towards Odisha at a speed of 10 kmph and is likely to move north-northwestwards till noon on Thursday, after which it will recurve north-northeastwards, Odisha TV reported.

  • 14:15 (IST)

    Railways stops train services from Bhadrak in Odisha

    The East Coast Railways announced that it has cancelled all trains along the Bhadrak-Vizayamagram route from tomorrow (2 May). East Coast Railways has asked passengers to plan their travel accordingly and said more details of train movements in Odisha will be announced by evening.

    Input by Sonali Singh/101 reporters

  • 14:09 (IST)

    Suspend rail and road traffic in Odisha, suggests IMD

    In the 'yellow warning' issued by the Met department for Odisha suggested total suspension of fishing activities, extensive evacuation of coastal areas and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic. It also advised people in areas likely to be affected by the storm to remain indoors.

  • 13:59 (IST)

    Is Cyclone Fani a result of global warming? A climate scientist has the answer

    Cyclone Fani, currently raging in the Bay of Bengal, is the most powerful storm yet in the pre-monsoon cyclone season. Currently classified as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds of 80-90 km/h, it is expected to intensify to an “extremely several cyclonic storm” by 1 May, reaching wind speeds of up to 185 km/h.

    The abrupt change in the trajectory of the cyclone means that it will inflict relatively little damage to life and property. By the same token, neither will it bring relief from the intense summer heat to India’s east coast. However, the IMD has issued a warning to fisherfolk on India’s east coast not to venture into the deep sea until 2 May. What relation, if any, does Cyclone Fani have to global climate change? How do we expect it to change in the future? READ MORE

  • 13:56 (IST)

    Understanding Cyclone Fani: How sea surface temperature determines the strength of cyclones

    Bay of Bengal cyclones typically recurve north-eastward since the steering winds for cyclones are typically above a height of 5 Kms. Cyclones can be strong enough to modify the steering winds themselves but generally, the steering winds are quite robust. It is these robust winds that determine cyclone tracks.

    It should be noted that only about 30 percent of the cyclones over the Bay form during the pre-monsoon season and the rest form after the monsoon season is over. Sea surface temperatures over the Bay remain above 28°C, which is the threshold for atmospheric deep convection. Such warm temperatures, especially the heat content of the upper ocean, serve as the energy source for cyclones. READ MORE

  • 13:51 (IST)

    Extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani likely to move northwestwards during next 12 hours: IMD

    Extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani likely to move northwestwards during next 12 hours and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, IMD said. 

  • 13:49 (IST)

    IMD predicts phenomenal sea conditions off north Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh coast tomorrow

    The IMD has predicted gale winds with speed reaching 160-170 km per hour and gusting to 190 km per hour and phenomenal sea conditions over west central and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal off north Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and south Andhra Pradesh coasts tomorrow.

  • 13:47 (IST)

    Squally winds along and off Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coast predicted tomorrow: IMD

    Squally winds with a speed of 40-50 km per hour and gusting to 60 km per hour is also likely to commence along and off north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coasts tomorrow. Fishermen are advised not to venture into these areas, IMD said.

  • 13:44 (IST)

    We are prepared for the cyclone: Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba

    "We are prepared for the cyclone. Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam is ready, all necessary measures have been taken. In coordination with state govt of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, we are ready for the cyclone," says Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba to ANI.

  • 13:30 (IST)

    Show courage: Dharmendra Pradhan tweets

    Union minister and BJP leader from Odisha Dharmendra Pradhan, in a series on tweets, appealed to people of the state to show "courage and responsibility in the event of Cyclone Fani." 

    "Only if Centre and State government work in tandem, we can succeed in the face of this cyclone. I request everyone to stay put in pakka houses. Centre will do everything to help the state government. Centre has already pledged 340 crores for relief work. Today, Cabinet Secretary held talks with Odisha officials with regard to preparations. Centre will do everything to help in the coming days."

  • 13:22 (IST)

    Met upgrades wind speeds around extremely severe cyclone Fani

    Extremely severe cyclone 'Fani' is expected to intensify further with the India Met Department (IMD) further upgrading maximum wind speeds up to a ferocious 190 km/hr gusting to 210 km/hr this (Wednesday) morning. Wind speeds during its expected landfall along the Odisha coast on Friday would not be much different — up to 185 km/hr gusting to 205 km/hr — as was earlier forecast.

  • 12:55 (IST)

    IAS officers in charge of rescue and restoration

    According to local media, principal secretary Sanjeev Chopra will look after the relief and restoration work in Cuttack. In Jagatsinghpur, IAS officer Saswat Mishra will oversee preparations; Kisan Kumar in Khurda; Hemant Padhi in Kendrapada; and Premchandra Choudhary in Balasore.

  • 12:51 (IST)

    Doctors and health staff recalled, leaves till 15 May cancelled

    All leaves of doctors and health staff in Odisha have been cancelled up to 15 May. Those who are on leave have been asked to report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening, ANI reports

  • 12:46 (IST)

    Don't stay in low lying areas, Odisha govt appeals to citizens

    The office of the Special Relief Commissioner in Odisha has appealed to the people in the state to be ready for the cyclone and issued an advisory. The office has asked people in vulnerable regions to shun low lying areas. In a statement, the SRC office said, "The major threat of the cyclone will be heavy rain, flooding, damaging wind gusts, and storm surge. Be advised to secure loose objects and prepare for low lying area inundation and power outage,"

    Sonali Singh/101 reporters

  • 12:40 (IST)

    CUTTACK CYCLONE FANI LATEST UPDATES

    ODRAF teams from Cuttack getting ready for relief works

    The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) personnel from Cuttack in Odisha are getting ready to counter Cyclone Fani impact which is expected to cross over Odisha coast on Friday.

    ODRAF personnel were seen taking out tree cutters, suction machines and other disaster control tools. ODRAF has been alerted by the Special Relief Commissioner Office to remain on high alert and ready for assistance.

    Sonali Singh/101 reporters

  • 12:34 (IST)

    Met upgrades wind speeds around extremely severe Cyclone Fani

    'Extremely severe cyclone' Fani is expected to intensify further with the India Met Department (IMD) further upgrading maximum wind speeds up to a ferocious 190 km/hr gusting to 210 km/hr this (Wednesday) morning. Wind speeds during its expected landfall along the Odisha coast on Friday won't be all that different — up to 185 km/hr gusting to 205 km/hr — as was earlier forecast, reports have said

  • 12:24 (IST)

    Cyclone Fani has a well-defined eye: Weather experts

    According to weather channels on social media, Cyclone Fani has a well-defined eye. Travelling 430 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam, the extremely severe storm has wind speed upto 190 kph and is expected to cross Odisha coast near Puri on 3 May.

  • 11:46 (IST)

    Expect extreme chances of heavy to very rainfall in Odisha on 3 May, warn officials

    Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha Bishnupada Sethi claims that there are chances of high to very high rainfall in many parts of Odisha especially southern Odisha. Sethi said that high alert has been issued in vulnerable districts and officials have been asked to take precautionary measures in the wake of Cyclone Fani making landfall near Puri in Odisha.

    Sonali Singh/101 reporters

  • 11:39 (IST)

    No major impact on Indian mainland till Friday, says IMD

    According to latest updates, Cyclone Fani will not have any major impact on the Indian mainland till Friday. According to IMD weather, isolated heavy rains are expected today in Kerala's Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

  • 11:22 (IST)

    Prepare an emergency kit which can come handy at the time of the cyclone: NDMA tweets PSA

  • 11:21 (IST)

    PSA: How to preserve documents during cyclonic storm

    NDMA shared info on how one can preserve your documents and valuables from the cyclone might be useful.

  • 11:13 (IST)

    Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Cuttack among several districtrs which have been put on high alert

    The administration of Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha have been put on high alert.

  • 11:11 (IST)

    Impact of Fani likely to be more than that of Cyclone Titli: Regional meteorological centre

    The regional meteorological centre HAS said that the impact of Cyclone Fani is likely to be much more than that of Cyclone Titli, which hit Odisha-Andhra coast last year and killed at least 60 people. (PTI)

  • 11:07 (IST)

    EC approves lifting off provisions of Model Code of Conduct from districts of Odisha for facilitation of rescue operations: ANI

    The Election Commission approved a proposal of lifting off the provisions of Model Code of Conduct in Odisha's Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur so that speedy rescue, relief, and restoration operations can be facilitated.

  • 11:07 (IST)

    Five units of NDRF leave for Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur

    Five units of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have left for Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur. While 3 teams will be stationed in Jagatsinghpur, two units will stay in Bhadrak.

    Both Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur are likely to affect due to the cyclone Fani that will hit Odisha coast near Puri on 3 May afternoon.

    By Bibhuti Mohapatro/101Reporters

  • 11:03 (IST)

    Rain forecast in Andhra Pradesh

    Rain forecast in Srikakulam district of AndhraPradesh under the influence of severe cyclone Fani. 

  • 10:54 (IST)

    Fani is India’s strongest April cyclone in 43 years, says IMD

    Fani, which is lying about 600-km east of Vishakapatnam and 800-km south of Puri, is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976, according to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), The Hindu reported

    "While severe cyclones (defined as generating maximum windspeeds of 89-117 kmph) can form any time, they tend to be concentrated in November — after the monsoon — or around May, when the monsoon prepares to arrive in Kerala in June," the report said.

    The Hindu quoted the IMD head as saying that such quirks were a consequence of global warming. "This is a cyclone that’s forming due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin…with global warming we have to be prepared for such occurrences and take precaution accordingly. KJ Ramesh IMD director-general said that Fani, so far, was unlikely to have an impact on the advent of the monsoon.

Union minister Dharmendra Pradahan tweeted on Wednesday that the MHA has extended an advance relief package of ₹340 Crore to help Odisha with relief and rehabilitation preparedness.

He also said that "the MHA has assured of all possible help and co-operation to Odisha in braving Cyclone Fani and mitigating potential damages to life and resources arising out of the impending cyclone".

Cuttack District Collector Aravind Agrawal assures all possible help for the citizens living in vulnerable areas. He said, "Special emphasis has been given for people living in low lying areas. We are trying to ensure ample generators to ensure constant supply of drinking water. Essential drugs have also be brought in hospitals to tackle the health care issues."

The East Coast Railways has cancelled all trains along the Bhadrak-Vizayamagram route in Odisha starting tomorrow (2 May). It has asked passengers to plan their travel accordingly.

Extremely severe cyclone 'Fani' is expected to intensify further with the India Met Department (IMD) further upgrading maximum wind speeds up to a ferocious 190 km/hr gusting to 210 km/hr this (Wednesday) morning. Meanwhile, the Election Commission has approved a proposal of lifting off the provisions of Model Code of Conduct in Odisha's Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur so that speedy rescue, relief, and restoration operations can be facilitated.

Wind speeds during its expected landfall along the Odisha coast on Friday would not be much different — up to 185 km/hr gusting to 205 km/hr — as was earlier forecast.

All leaves of doctors and health staff in Odisha have been cancelled up to 15 May. Those who are on leave have been asked to report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening, ANI reports. According to local media, principal secretary Sanjeev Chopra will look after the relief and restoration work in Cuttack. In Jagatsinghpur, IAS officer Saswat Mishra will oversee preparations; Kisan Kumar in Khurda; Hemant Padhi in Kendrapada; and Premchandra Choudhary in Balasore.

According to weather channels on social media, Cyclone Fani has a well-defined eye. Travelling 430 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam, the extremely severe storm has wind speed upto 190 kph and is expected to cross Odisha coast near Puri on 3 May.

Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha Bishnupada Sethi claims that there are chances of high to very high rainfall in many parts of Odisha especially southern Odisha. Sethi said that high alert has been issued in vulnerable districts and officials have been asked to take precautionary measures in the wake of Cyclone Fani making landfall near Puri in Odisha.

According to latest updates, Cyclone Fani will not have any major impact on the Indian mainland till Friday. According to IMD weather, isolated heavy rains are expected today in Kerala's Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

Five units of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have left for Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur. While 3 teams will be stationed in Jagatsinghpur, two units will stay in Bhadrak. Both Bhadrak and Jagatsinghpur are likely to affect due to the cyclone Fani that will hit Odisha coast near Puri on 3 May afternoon. Meanwhile, the regional meteorological centre has said that the impact of Cyclone Fani is likely to be much more than that of Cyclone Titli, which hit Odisha-Andhra coast last year and killed at least 60 people.

Cyclone Fani, which is lying about 600-km east of Vishakapatnam and 800-km south of Puri, is the first severe, cyclonic storm to have formed in April in India’s oceanic neighbourhood since 1976, according to records from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), The Hindu reported. "While severe cyclones (defined as generating maximum windspeeds of 89-117 kmph) can form any time, they tend to be concentrated in November — after the monsoon — or around May, when the monsoon prepares to arrive in Kerala in June," the report said.

The Hindu quoted the IMD head as saying that such quirks were a consequence of global warming. "This is a cyclone that’s forming due to the warming of the Bay of Bengal basin…with global warming we have to be prepared for such occurrences and take precaution accordingly. KJ Ramesh IMD director-general said that Fani, so far, was unlikely to have an impact on the advent of the monsoon.

The Met department has issued a "yellow warning" for the Odisha coast predicting heavy to very heavy rain in several areas. "The cyclone will move along the coast of Odisha and go to West Bengal. We have suggested suspension and diversion of railway traffic and advised people to remain indoor," HR Biswas, director of Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar, told ANI.

Cyclone Fani, which is forming over the Bay of Bengal with wind speeds up to 200 kmph, has turned into an "extremely severe cyclonic" storm, the Navy said late on Tuesday night. Coastal Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are on high alert. Cyclone Fani is expected to hit the Odisha coast by May 3. "The speed of Cyclone Fani at the time of rainfall will be 175-185 kmph," Biswas further added.

Cyclone Fani has intensified into an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm' and it will cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali by Friday afternoon, the India Meteorological Department said Tuesday night. The Indian Meteorological Department has issued a formal cyclone alert for Odisha, West Bengal and parts of Andhra Pradesh, and suggested evacuation of coastal areas.

Tourists travelling to Odisha have been advised to leave the city of Puri by 2 May evening (Wednesday). Non-essential travel may be cancelled on 3 May and 4 May in the affected districts.

The Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said Cyclone 'Fani' (pronounced Foni) lays southwest and adjoining west central and southeast Bay of Bengal about 760 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) and 560 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and about 660 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).

"It has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm," Additional Director General of the IMD Mritunjay Mohapatra told PTI.

Fani is very likely to move northwestwards till 1 May evening and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kilometres per hour gusting to 205 kmph, the IMD said.

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.

An IMD bulletin in the evening said storm surge of about 1.5 metre above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of possible landfall.

Navy, Coast Guard, army prepared for relief and rescue ops

Navy and Coast Guard ships and helicopters, relief teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in strategic locations, while Army and Air Force units have been put on standby as severe cyclonic storm Fani is approaching towards India's eastern coast, officials said Tuesday. Aircraft of the Indian Navy are also in a state of readiness at two locations for emergency services.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's top body to deal with emergency situations, met here Tuesday for the second time in as many days and reviewed the preparedness with the states and departments concerned of the central government to deal with the situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.

"The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force units in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal have also been put on standby," a Home Ministry official 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.

"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 Indian Air Force has also been alerted and their services will be utilised if necessary, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said, adding the state government has taken up the matter with the NDRF.

He said 20 units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 335 units of fire services have also been kept in a state of preparedness.

Evacuation from susceptible areas top priority

After a video conference with Union Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha, Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi told reporters that the primary task is to ensure proper evacuation of people from low-lying areas of the coastal districts, which will be launched on 2 May.

All the 880 cyclone centres have been readied for the purpose. Boats have also been kept in a state of readiness, the SRC said.

During the meeting, Padhi sought two helicopters be stationed in a state for emergency and additional NDRF personnel for rescue and relief operation.

The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country's top body to deal with emergency situations, met in Delhi Tuesday for a second time in as many days and reviewed the preparedness.

The NDRF is deploying 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (eight teams), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (five teams). In addition, the NDRF is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh, a Central government official said.

A team of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) comprises about 45 personnel.

A home ministry statement said based on the decision of the first meeting of the NCMC, headed by Cabinet Secretary Sinha, the central government has already released advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.

The IMD issued its 'yellow' warning and suggested a total suspension of fishing activities operations, extensive evacuation from coastal areas, diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic. It also asked the people in areas likely to be affected by the storm to remain indoors and advised against the operation of motorboats and small ships in the sea.

Distant warning signal II (DW-II) has been hoisted in all ports of Odisha and fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea from Wednesday, the IMD said.

Director of the regional meteorological centre, H R Biswas said the impact of Cyclone 'Fani' is likely to be much more severe than 'Titli', which had hit the Odisha-Andhra coast last year and killed at least 60 people.

The administration of Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha have been put on high alert.

Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places is very likely in Kerala, at a few places in north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh till Wednesday.

Heavy rainfall is very likely over north coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday and light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places a day later.

South coastal Odisha is expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall on Thursday. Rainfall is likely to increase at most places with heavy to very heavy rains at a few places with "extremely heavy falls" at isolated places over coastal Odisha and its adjoining districts of interior Odisha on Thursday.

Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places are
very likely over coastal districts of West Bengal on May 3 and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy falls at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal a day later.

Updated Date: May 02, 2019 09:33:00 IST