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

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.

FP Staff May 02, 2019 09:33:00 IST

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May 01, 2019 - 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".

May 01, 2019 - 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

May 01, 2019 - 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.

May 01, 2019 - 18:58 (IST)

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik reviews preparedness for Cyclone Fani

May 01, 2019 - 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.

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

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