Cyclone Fani has turned into an "extremely severe cyclonic" storm, the Navy said
New Delhi: 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," HR Biswas, director of Meteorological Department, Bhubaneswar, told news agency ANI. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his officials and the National Crisis Management Committee to stay in touch with the states at risk from Cyclone Fani.
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Fani in Odisha
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," Mr Biswas told news agency ANI.
The wind speed of a cyclonic storm is 80-90 kmph with winds gusting up to 100 kmph. In case of an "extremely severe cyclonic storm", the wind speed goes up to 170-180 kmph and could reach up to 195-200 kmph.
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) also met for the second time on Tuesday in as many days and reviewed how the states are preparing to deal with the situation.
Odisha's 879 multipurpose cyclone shelters have been kept ready. The shelters can accommodate about one million people during cyclones and floods.
The Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Units of the Air Force in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal have been put on standby.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is deploying 41 teams at areas considered to be vulnerable - Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5). The NDRF has also kept on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh.
A storm surge of about 1.5 metres height above the astronomical tide is likely to inundate low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts in Odisha at the time of landfall, news agency ANI reported.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture out far in areas southwest and southeast of Bay of Bengal. "Fishermen who are still venturing into the sea have been advised to return to the coast. Due to this cyclone, Telangana and some parts of Andhra Pradesh may experience hot heavy winds," Nagaratna, scientist at Meteorology Department, Hyderabad, told ANI.
West Bengal may see light to moderate rain at most places on May 3. Cyclone Fani is likely to bring light to moderate rain at many places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts) on May 2.
The centre on Tuesday ordered release of Rs 1,086 crore to four states as advance financial assistance for undertaking preventive and relief measures to deal with Cyclone Fani. Of the sanctioned amount, Odisha will receive Rs 340.87 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 309.37 crore, West Bengal Rs 235.50 crore and Andhra Pradesh Rs 200.25 crore.