Over the last 24 hours, Cyclone Fani
has grown into an extremely severe cyclonic storm located around 680 km south-southwest of the coastal town of Puri in Odisha at a speed of 10 km per hour and move northwestwards till May 1 evening. The cyclone storm is expected to reach Odisha coast by the afternoon of May 3.
As per the Indian Meteorological Department, the state is now put on a ‘yellow alert.’ The cyclonic storm is likely to cross Puri between the coast of Gopalpur and Chandabali and during the time of landfall, on the afternoon of May 3, the wind speed is likely to remain 175 to 185 km per hour gusting up to 205 kmph.
Here’s all you need to about Cyclone Fani:
According to IMD, Cyclone Fani is the first cyclonic storm to be formed in the month of April in the Bay of Bengal since 1976, after 43 years.
Cyclones generally form after the monsoon is passed during the month of November – February or before the onset of monsoon in May. Only twice before, in 1966 and 1976, cyclones were formed in the month of April.
Fani, pronounced as ‘foni’, was suggested by Bangladesh. For tropical cyclones developing in the North Indian Ocean, as per the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) each countries like India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan and Thailand submit a set of names from time to time to the regional tropical cyclone committee, from which the cyclone names are chosen.
At present, eight countries have submitted eight names each for naming future cyclones and the name Fani was chosen from a pool of 64 names. Last year, Cyclone Titli, which hit Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha last year, was named by Pakistan.
The cyclonic model has been forming since April 25 in the Bay of Bengal and is passing the ocean by 11-12 kmph, IMD said, adding that the longer the model stays in the sea, the stronger it becomes as it absorbs more moisture. Typically a cyclone makes landfall within a week, IMD said.
Waves as high as 6.3 meters are expected to rise along the coast, the Met department said, adding that fishermen have been asked to not venture into the sea and keep their rafts tied properly.
Odisha's 879 multipurpose cyclone shelters have been kept ready by the authorities. The shelters can accommodate about one million people during cyclones and floods.
The Eastern Naval Command has been put on high alert and is prepared to help with humanitarian rescue efforts. Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are standing-by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid, the Navy said in a statement.
The National Disaster Response Force have been deployed in strategic locations, while Army and Air Force units have been put on standby. The NDRF is deploying 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5) for prepositioning. In addition, the NDRF is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh. An NDRF team comprises of 45 response personnel.
The central government has already released advance financial assistance of Rs 1,086 crore to Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal to assist them in undertaking preventive and relief measures.
The State Election Commission has lifted the model code of conduct in 11 districts in Odisha which is simultaneously voting for the Lok Sabha, as well as the Assembly Elections.
The Election Commission has approved the proposal of the lifting of the provisions of Model Code of Conduct in the Odisha districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack, and Jajpur to facilitate the speedy rescue, relief, and restoration activities.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had requested the chief election commissioner to postpone elections in the Patkura assembly seat in Kendrapara, which is scheduled for May 19.
The state government has declared the closure of all educational institutions in the state from May 2. State and district authorities have also advised tourists to leave Puri by the evening of May 2 and cancel any non-essential travel to the districts that are going to be affected the most.
(With inputs from agencies)