Cyclone Fani status: Coastal Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are on high alert.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani will make landfall today morning around 9.30 am in Odisha's Puri, much before the earlier forecast of 3 pm. With a few hours left for cyclone Fani to hit the coast, a massive exodus got under way in coastal Odisha as hundreds of thousands of people left their home, on foot and by vehicles, in probably the largest evacuation ahead of a natural disaster in the country. The Odisha government has moved 11 lakh people to safety and advised the public to remain indoor on Friday. Fani is being regarded as the most severe cyclonic storm since the super cyclone of 1999 that claimed close to 10,000 lives and left a trail of destruction in vast swathes of the state, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. Fani, according to sources, has gathered speed and is rolling dangerously towards the coast clocking 17 km per hour. After crossing Odisha, cyclone Fani is likely to move towards West Bengal before tapering off. It is, however, still likely to impact parts of the northeast, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. There is forecast of massive tides that could surge up to 1.5 metres during the landfall, officials said. Fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea.
Here are the live updates on Cyclone Fani:
Rainfall report as of 2.30 am by Met department:
Gopalpur - 10 centimetres
Puri - 8 centimetres
Kalingapatnam - 9 centimetres
"Outer rain band lies over coastal Odisha. Heavy rainfall continuing over coastal Odisha & north coastal Andhra Pradesh. Gopalpur reported 52 kmph wind and 10 cm rain at 0130 hrs IST," the Met department tweeted.
The Bangladesh government has issued mass evacuation orders in 19 coastal districts to prevent casualties as meteorologists predicted cyclonic storm Fani to make landfall on Friday after hitting Indian coastlines. Residents from the 19 districts will be shifted to over 4,000 shelters erected along the coastlines, while the local authorities took possession of safe installations like schools to be used as shelters, if required, news agency PTI reported. The armed forces were also kept ready for disaster operations. Weather experts said parts of eastern India and Bangladesh could expect 150 to 300 mm rain with locally higher amounts regardless of the intensity.
Photo provided by NASA shows a satellite view of Cyclone Fani:
As Cyclone Fani is due to make landfall tomorrow, the Indian Navy has deployed three naval ships so that it can launch rescue operation after the cyclone hits the coastline of Odisha. "Indian naval ships Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt with relief material and medical teams have been deployed so that they can commence rescue operation as soon as the cyclone crosses the coast," Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said. "Helicopters are also kept standby for joining in rescue operation and for air dropping of relief material when required," he added.
The India Meteorological Department, or IMD, has cautioned people to not lower guard after the first arm of Cyclone Fani hits the east coast and moves forward, bringing the eye of the storm into the focus which is very calm.
As the eye inches forward, the very calmness brings further destruction as the second arm of the cyclone is equally violent.
An eye is the centre of a cyclone, which is calm, while the strong winds that circle it are known as the arms of the storm.