Over 8 lakh people are being evacuated as Cyclone Fani inches closer towards Odisha. Indian Railways today announced a special train to aid in evacuation of stranded tourists. The cyclone is likely to make landfall between Gopalpur and Chandbali anytime after tomorrow afternoon, with wind speed of up to 200 km per hour.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) of Indian Railways has said that it will run the special train with reserved and unreserved berths from Puri starting 12 pm today for swift evacuation of tourists.
The train will make stoppages at Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur, Keonjhar Road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur, said an ECoR official.
This train will be equipped with General, Sleeper, 3A and 2A coaches. The train is expected to reach Bhubaneswar around 1.30 pm.
The railways has also cancelled 103 trains in view of the cyclonic storm, which is likely to hit Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali on May 3 evening.
Cyclone Fani, which has turned into an "extreme severe cyclonic" storm, is located around 225 kms south-southeast of Visakhapatnam and around 430 kms south-southwest of Puri, said the India Meteorological Department.
The worst-ever cyclone recorded in Odisha had killed over 10,000 people in 1999.
Odisha, which has a population of around 46 million, has already voted in India's ongoing Lok Sabha election which began on April 11. The voting process in other parts of India will conclude on May 19 and results will be announced on May 23.