- Large areas in the temple town of Puri were submerged
- Over 11 lakh people have been evacuated from coastal Odisha
- Flights from Bhubaneswar cancelled, Kolkata airport to be shut tonight
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Fani
Cyclone Fani hit West Bengal early this morning by crossing Kharagpur and is likely to continue further in North-East direction with the wind speed of 90 km/hour, reports news agency ANI.
All flights from Bhubaneswar had been cancelled from midnight; they will resume Saturday at 1 pm. Kolkata airport will be shut from 3 pm Friday to 8 am Saturday. More than 200 flights from Kolkata will be cancelled.
At least eight people were killed in separate incidents in Odisha, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying. A teenager was killed when a tree came crashing down on him in Puri. Flying debris from a concrete structure hit a woman in Nayagarh district. In Kendrapara, a 65-year-old woman died after suspected heart attack at a cyclone shelter.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her election rallies for 48 hours because of Cyclone Fani. PM Modi's election rally in Jharkhand, which was scheduled for May 5, has been postponed to May 6, said BJP's Jharkhand unit spokesman Rajesh Kumar Shukla. BJP chief Amit Shah's and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's rallies in Jharkhand on Friday too have been cancelled.
A red alert was sounded in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam after heavy rain and gusty winds uprooted trees and electricity poles. About 20,000 people were shifted to 126 relief camps in Srikakulam.
Over 147 trains have been cancelled till tomorrow. Three special trains were run from Puri to Howrah and Shalimar in West Bengal yesterday to facilitate the evacuation of tourists.
In West Bengal, it will affect East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram districts and state capital Kolkata.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and disaster management agencies are on stand-by. Indian Navy's long reconnaissance aircraft, P8I, and short range coastal reconnaissance aircraft, Dornier, will be launched for aerial surveys to assess the extent of impact and devastation.
Cyclone Fani is the strongest cyclonic storm since the Super Cyclone of 1999, which claimed close to 10,000 lives and battered the Odisha coast for 30 hours. The Meteorological Department said it is the first cyclonic storm of such severity in April in India's oceanic neighbourhood in 43 years.
The name ''Fani", which is pronounced as "Foni", was suggested by Bangladesh. Roughly translated, "Fani" means the hood of a snake, according to reports.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI, IANS and AFP)