The Weekend Leader - Fani: Severe thunderstorm, rains, gale across Odisha

Fani: Severe thunderstorm, rains, gale across Odisha



Extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani with wind speed touching nearly 200 kmph that made landfall earlier on Friday on the eastern coast wreaking havoc in Odisha, will cross several districts in the state before advancing to neighbouring West Bengal.

The India Meteorological Department have been issuing regular updates.

Meanwhile, airports in Odisha and West Bengal have shutdown and situation is grave for flyers as many flights has been cancelled.

The latest for upto 12.30 p.m., said: Severe thunderstorm with intense rainfall and gale wind speed reaching 140 to 150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph likely to occur at a few places over the districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsingpur.

Severe thunderstorm with intense rainfall and gale wind speed reaching 90 to 100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph likely to occur at a few places over the districts of Khorda (including Bhubaneswar), Kendrapada, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Bhadrak, Balasore and Nayagadh during the same time.

It also forecast moderate to severe thunderstorm with intense rainfall and squally wind speed reaching 60 to 70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph likely to occur at a few places over the districts of Angul, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, and adjoining districts between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Already damages have been reported to houses. Thousands of trees and electricity poles have been uprooted under the impact of cyclonic storm that made landfall in Puri.

The Army, Navy and Air Force are already keeping a strict vigil. A top official of the NDRF J.P. Sharma told news channels that the IMD' sforecast has been spot on. "The actual work will start once the storm passes over leaving behind the destruction in its path."

Indian Navy's long reconnaissance aircraft, P8I, and short range coastal reconnaissance aircraft, Dornier, are scheduled to be launched in the afternoon for undertaking aerial survey to assess the extent of impact and devastation.

The cyclone started crossing into the Odisha coast close to Puri between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Friday. The process of landfall will continue till 1 p.m.

The cyclone has completely thrown normal life out of gear with heavy to very heavy rains lashing the coastal districts since Thursday night.

The road network in several districts suffered extensive damage. The power distribution network has also been severely affected. Asbestos sheets of temporary housing facilities have been ripped off.

Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said they have received reports regarding uprooting of trees in some areas while there was no reports of loss of lives so far.

A 65-year-old woman died at a cyclone shelter in Devendranarayanpur under Rajnagar block of Kendrapara. However, the cause of death is unknown, said sources.

About a million people were evacuated to safer places in Odisha due to the cyclonic storm.

Met department said while strong winds will continue to blow for next couple of hours, heavy rainfall will continue across the state.

"The process of cyclone Fani's landfall in Puri will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.," said Bhubaneswar Met Centre Director H.R. Biswas.

It's eye diameter was put at 28 km at around 9 a.m. Half of Fani's eye was in the sea then, the IMD said.

The already rough sea in Puri is turbulant. Evacuation has been carried out till 5 km of the beach area. Even the calm sea in Chandipur is violent, officials said.

It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, south of Puri during May 3 forenoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.

Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated from the vulnerable areas to safer places in last 24 hours in Odisha. Ganjam and Puri districts have evacuated more than 3 lakh and 1.3 lakh people, respectively.

Although the evacuation were extremely difficult given that people were not ready to laeve their house and belongings. Relief workers had a tough time, speaking to news channels several complained.

The Indian Navy warships -- Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt -- are on stand-by with relief materials and medical teams.

Other naval vessels are also on stand-by at Vishakhapattanam. Naval divers teams have moved to Odisha from Vishakhapattanam.

The cities of Puri, Paradip, Bhubaneswar, Gopalpur have been experiencing rains since Thursday.

Strong winds measuring up to 174 kmph lashed Chilika early on Friday uprooting trees.

The highest number of people -- 3 lakh -- were evacuated from Ganjam district while 1.3 lakh others from Puri district, said an official from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office.

About 10,000 villages and 52 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) were likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.

The state government has advised people not to step out of their houses. 

As a precautionary measure, all shops, business establishments, private and government offices will remain closed in 11 coastal districts.

Flight operations were suspended in Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik Airport from Friday midnight. IANS


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