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Cyclone Fani Updates: Kolkata airport operational as planes take off and land; Air India extends free service for delivery of relief material

Cyclone Fani LIVE Updates: The Kolkata airport is currently operational, reports said. The first departure that took off around 10.30 is of AI723 for Bagdogra and first arrival GoAir 101 Delhi to Kolkata landed around the same time.

FP Staff May 04, 2019 11:23:10 IST
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Cyclone Fani Updates: Kolkata airport operational as planes take off and land; Air India extends free service for delivery of relief material
  • Though the 'extremely severe' cyclone unexpectedly weakened into 'very severe' cyclonic storm in a matter of few hours, it left a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha

  • National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DIG Randeep Rana said not many casualties were reported so far as precautionary measures were in place

  • The chief minister said nearly 12 lakh people were evacuated and shifted to safer locations within 24 hours ahead of the cyclone from about 10,000 villages

Highlights

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

May 04, 2019 - 11:17 (IST)

Most trains under Eastern Railway remain cancelled

Visuals from the Howrah station in West Bengal show many people stranded as a lot of the trains under the jurisdiction of East Coast Railway still remain cancelled.

Input by A Ghose

May 04, 2019 - 11:14 (IST)

Cyclone Fani weakens into 'deep depression' and centres over Bangladesh

The IMD tweeted that Cyclone Fani has weakened into a deep depression and has moved further towards Bangladesh. A tweet said, "The Cyclone ‘FANI’ over Gangetic West Bengal moved further east-northeastwards & weakened into a Deep Depression, lay centred at 0830 hrs IST over Bangladesh near lat 23.6°N & long 88.8°E.  It is very likely to move northeastwards, weaken further into a Depression during next 06 hrs."

May 04, 2019 - 11:03 (IST)

Buildings damaged by Cyclone Fani in Kharagpur

A lot of buildings were damaged in Ramnagar’s Block number 1 in East Midnapore’s Kharagpur. Affected people have been taken to shelter homes by the administration.

Input by A Ghose

May 04, 2019 - 10:59 (IST)

Buildings damaged by Cyclone Fani in Kharagpur

After wreaking havoc in Odisha, Cyclone Fani created a lot of destruction in various parts of West Bengal. A lot of buildings were damaged in Ramnagar’s Block number 1 in East Midnapore’s Kharagpur. Affected people have been taken to shelter homes by the administration.

Input by A Ghose

May 04, 2019 - 10:55 (IST)

Residents resort to government shelters in Midnapore 

Cyclone Fani has left a trail of destruction to life and property as the storm moved from Odisha to West Bengal on Friday and Saturday. The storm caused the collapse of several structures, specifically in East Midnapore's Kharagpur. Residents have been shifted to the government shelter. A number of trees have also gotten uprooted in the wee hours on Saturday.

Input by A Ghose

May 04, 2019 - 10:45 (IST)

Kolkata airport resumes operations

The Kolkata airport is currently operational, reports said. The first departure that took off around 10.30 is of AI723 for Bagdogra and first arrival GoAir 101 Delhi to Kolkata landed around the same time.

May 04, 2019 - 10:39 (IST)

Bangladeshi authorities say 4,00,000 people have been shifted to shelters

Around 400,000 people have been taken to shelters, Bangladeshi officials told AFP on Saturday, as Cyclone Fani headed towards the country. The storm is expected to weaken into a 'deep depression' by noon.

May 04, 2019 - 10:31 (IST)

Cyclone Fani no more a threat for West Bengal, say reports

As Cyclone Fani moves toward Bangladesh, state governments and the Centre are taking stock of the damage in the wake of the storm. In West Bengal, Digha was reportedly expected to face a major impact of the cyclone. However, the situation seemed to be calm on Saturday morning despite heavy rainfall at night.

The MET department in Alipore was quoted by reports as saying that there was no more threat from this Cyclone Fani for West Bengal, as it is heading towards Bangladesh.

May 04, 2019 - 10:11 (IST)

Narendra Modi to visit Odisha on 6 May

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is planning to visit Odisha to take stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Fani on 6 May, Monday. It also happens to be the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha eleciton.

May 04, 2019 - 10:03 (IST)

Effects of Cyclone Fani felt at Everest Base Camp

The winds were felt as far away as Mount Everest, with tents blown away at Camp 2 at 6,400 metres (21,000 feet) and Nepali authorities cautioning helicopters against flying.

The Nepali government issued a warning that heavy snowfall was expected in the higher mountain areas with rain and storms lower down, and asked trekking agencies to take tourists to safety.

Hundreds of climbers, their guides, cooks, and porters huddled at the Everest base camp, according to Pemba Sherpa of Xtreme Climbers Trek, who said weather and visibility were poor. May is the best month to climb the 8,850-foot Everest when Nepal experiences a few windows of good weather to scale the peak.

“It is still the beginning of the month, so there is no reason for climbers to worry” that weather from the cyclone will cost them their chance to reach the summit, Sherpa said.

(AFP and AP)

Cyclone Fani in Odisha, West Bengal, Manipur LATEST News and updates: The Kolkata airport is currently operational, reports said. The first departure that took off around 10.30 is of AI723 for Bagdogra and first arrival GoAir 101 Delhi to Kolkata landed around the same time.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he is planning to visit Odisha to take stock of the situation in the wake of Cyclone Fani on 6 May, Monday. It also happens to be the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election.

Cyclone Fani, one of the worst storms to hit the Indian subcontinent, is likely to weaken into a deep depression and move into Bangladesh by noon, the IMD said.

The Indian Meteorological Department on Saturday morning said that the cyclone has weakened into a 'cyclonic storm' and is centered 60 kilometres north-west of West Bengal's capital, Kolkata.

Based on latest weather update flight operations to resume at Kolkata Airport from 8am today. Airport authority has advised passengers to check with the concerned airlines for any changes in the flight timings.

Cyclone Fani has passed from Odisha and arrived in West Bengal in early hours of Saturday after it crossed Kharagpur. The cyclonic storm is expected to continue further in North-East direction with the wind speed of 90 km/hour, reported ANI

Cyclone 'Fani' barrelled through Odisha on Friday, unleashing copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, blowing away thatched houses, and swamping towns and villages, officials said. The extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' or the 'Hood of Snake' made landfall around 8 am in Puri, with roaring winds flattening huts, enveloping the pilgrim town in sheets of rain, and submerging homes.

Though the 'extremely severe' cyclone unexpectedly weakened into 'very severe' cyclonic storm in a matter of few hours, it left a trail of devastation in large parts of coastal Odisha, with the seaside pilgrim town of Puri being the worst-hit. At least eight people have been reported dead so far, senior officials said, adding information was still awaited from many areas. While three people, including a teenage boy, were reported killed in Puri district, three perished in Bhubaneswar and nearby areas. Flying debris from a concrete structure fatally struck a woman in Nayagarh.

An elderly woman died of heart attack at a relief shelter in Kendrapara district, official sources said. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who reviewed the situation, said Puri district, particularly the holy town where the cyclone first hit the land mass, suffered huge damage. "Energy infrastructure has been completely destroyed. Restoration of electricity is a challenging task," he said. Hundreds of engineers and technicians were working on a war-footing to restore power supply. Work is on to restore road communication, thrown into disarray with thousands of uprooted trees blocking the way in innumerable places, Patnaik said.

Cyclone Fani Updates Kolkata airport operational as planes take off and land Air India extends free service for delivery of relief material

Odisha's Puri was one of the areas worst affected by Cyclone Fani. PTI

The chief minister said since the cyclone is still passing through Odisha, it will take time to make an assessment of the damage. The cyclonic system, whose eye is around 28 km wide, moved at around 30 kmph, Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, H R Biswas said soon after Fani made the landfall. But within the system, the winds reached speeds of up to 175 kilometers per hour that gusted up to 200 kmph, leaving in their wake uprooted trees and thatched structures, including in the state capital Bhubaneswar.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) DIG Randeep Rana said not many casualties were reported so far as precautionary measures were in place. The chief minister said nearly 12 lakh people were evacuated and shifted to safer locations within 24 hours ahead of the cyclone from about 10,000 villages and 52 urban agglomerations in probably the largest such exercise at the time of a natural calamity in the country. The evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres where free cooked food is being served to them, he said.

After the landfall, the system is passing through Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore before it would enter West Bengal, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said, adding that Bhubaneswar was hit by high velocity wind of around 140 kmph. Telecommunication lines got snapped in several parts of state capital Bhubaneswar and several other areas. Mobile towers were damaged and power supply was disconnected in many
places.

Large-scale damage to thatched and old houses was reported from Puri, Khurda and Cuttack districts, he said. Summer crops, orchards and plantations also suffered huge damage, he said. National TV channels showed videos claimed to have been shot by residents of Bhubaneswar where a bus was seen bobbing under the impact of the windstorm before flipping on its side. A police booth was dragged some 200 ft on a highway by furious winds, while a massive crane alongside a multi- storeyed under-construction building collapsed on a row of empty huts, jolted by the howling storm.

Flight operations at Bhubaneswar airport remained suspended on Friday, while Paradip and Gopalpur ports were also closed as a precautionary measures. Around 220 trains on Howrah-Chennai route have been cancelled keeping in view passengers' safety, an East Coast Railway (ECoR) official said. As Fani pummelled Odisha, neighbouring West Bengal braced itself for its fury. The sky was overcast in Kolkata and several other places since Friday morning as rain came in spurts, inundating several parts of the state capital.  Traffic snarls were reported from different places in the city.

The storm brought down the political temperature, with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelling all her election rallies that were planned over the next 48 hours and getting down to monitoring the situation. "The eye of the storm is likely to be weakened when it enters West Bengal. The wind speed will be around 100 kmph to 110 kmph," an official of the meteorological department said. A red alert has been issued in coastal areas and fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea. Several districts including East and West Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas besides, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram, Kolkata and the Sundarbans are likely to be hit by the storm that would then move towards Bangladesh and taper off. No flights will depart or arrive at Kolkata airport from 3 pm. Friday to 8 am Saturday, aviation regulator DGCA said in New Delhi.

With inputs from PTI

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