Extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani made landfall on the eastern coast wreaking havoc in Odisha on Friday. Despite extensive damage cuased by near 200 kmph winds and heavy to very heavy rainfall, no loss of life has been reported so far.
Damaging houses, thousands of trees and electricity poles, uprooting trees, the eye of Fani almost 25 km in diametre is sending off wind velocity of 150 to 175 kmph and even above at some places touching 180 or more, said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
The eye of the cyclone which was even an hour back party over the Bay of Bengal has completely moved inland.
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.
As a precautionary measure, domestic airlines IndiGo and GoAir have cancelled all their flights to and from Bhubaneshwar Airport for May 3 while Vistara has waived off fee for cancellation and rescheduling.
Navy and Coast Guard ships and helicopters, relief teams of the National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in strategic locations, while Army and Air Force units have been put on standby.
How was the cyclone named 'Fani'?
If you thought countries can just come up with names for cyclones, you are wrong. The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has devised a mechanism where countries submit a list of names from time to time. Names of cyclones are chosen from this pool. The name Fani (pronounced as Foni), which means "hood of a snake", was given by Bangladesh.
Last year Cyclone Titli, which hit Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha, was named by Pakistan, while Cyclone Ockhi, which brought a lot of damage in 2017, was named by Thailand.
WMO has divided the countries into two categories where North Atlantic consists of Eastern Pacific, Central Pacific, Western Pacific, North Indian Ocean, and Southern Atlantic has South-West Indian Ocean, Australian region, Southern Pacific, South Atlantic.
India falls under the Northern Indian Ocean tropical region. Other countries which are a part of this category are Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, and Thailand.
Fani was chosen from a pool of 64 names. The names which India suggested are Agni, Akash, Bijli, Jal, Lehar, Megh, Sagar, and Vayu.
While selecting names for cyclones, countries have to see that the word is easily understood by people in the region, hence the names are generally familiar words.
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: IST