Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: It seems cyclone Fani will completely skirt Andhra coast and Gopalpur now. The latest wind model of Indian National Centre of Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) indicates that Cyclone Fani will move towards north Odisha coast. And at around 11:30 hours, the extremely severe cyclonic storm will make landfall between Puri and Paradip on Friday. Post landfall, the system will move along the Odisha coast to enter West Bengal,

The high temperature in landmass of Andhra Pradesh resulted in low atmospheric pressure. Cyclonic systems are low pressure areas, and they move to high pressure zones. For this, Cyclone Fani, instead of moving north west, is taking a re-curve towards north and north east.

The JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Centre) has also confirmed that Cyclone Fani will make landfall in northern India (means northern Odisha and West Bengal). Its latest tropical cyclone analysis reads as post the formation of the cyclonic system, Fani will make landfall at TAU 120 hours in northern India, which means around May 3 or 4.

It needs mentioning that the cyclonic storm Fani will take a re-curve at around evening of coming Wednesday (May 1). The system will acquire the tag of extremely severe cyclonic storm on the night of May 1. It is observed that the system will then drift towards Odisha coast, and during day hours of Friday (May 3) will make landfall in between Puri and Paradip.

Though the cone of Cyclone Fani's effect will see very heavy rainfall in south Odisha coastal districts, the brunt of the extremely severe cyclonic storm would be borne by northern coastal districts like Puri, Jagatsingpur and Kendrapara.  The observed track of the cyclonic system Fani shows that it will be drifting all along the Odisha coast, post landfall to enter West Bengal. As the system will drift along the coastal region of the State, Odisha coastal districts are going to receive very heavy rainfall and gale wind till Saturday (May 4) evening.

The INCOIS model had yesterday revealed of the Cyclone would probably making landfall between Kalingapatnam and Puri on the evening of May 3, which now stands revised.

As per JTWC, the wind speed of Fani on May 3, the day of landfall, will be a high of around 176 KM/hour with the gusting speed reaching to 216 KM/hr. If the JTWC predictions prove true, the intensity of Fani then will be more severe than Titli - whose wind speed was 150 KM/hr during landfall. Now, it seems Fani will not only bring pounding rain but wrecking large-scale devastation for the State.

Even, IMD has updated the predicted wind speed on May 3 at around 160 -180KM/hr and gusting up to 190Km/hour, informed Mrutyuanjay Mahpatra, ADG, IMD. He, however, added that IMD will declare the time and place of landfall at a later date.

Earlier, a JTWC analysis has hinted at 'Fani' getting dissipated in the Bay of Bengal. But its latest tropical cyclone analysis said there is little chance of the system getting dissipated in BoB. Because, the favourable conditions in BoB are working for its intensification to a very severe cyclonic storm. An analysis reveals the sea surface temperature of  Bay of Bengal (BoB) on May 1, when Fani is to take a recurve, would be around 31 - 33 degree Celsius. The SST along the south Odisha coast on May 1 will be hovering at around 31 degree Celsius.

Moreover, the direction of winds in the BoB around May 1 is predicted at around 90 degrees from north, which means they are almost vertical. The vertical wind shear is aiding intensification of Fani. Only horizontal wind flow pattern could take steam out of the fledgling cyclonic storm Fani.

In view of the looming cyclone threat on Odisha, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi held a review meeting at State Secretariat today. The meeting was attended by SRC Bhishupada Sethi, DGP Rajendra Kumar, NDMA, OSDMA, Navy, Air Force and Fire department officials.

Briefing media persons, Padhi said 20 ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Redcution Action Force) teams are functional in the State now. Last year only 10 ODRAF teams were functional. Besides, 12 units of NDRAF are positioned in the State. Other additional measures to deal with the exigency owing to cyclone Fani were discussed, he added.

"Though fishermen were not venturing into the sea with fishing ban in force till June 14, yet the Government will enforce more measures to see that no traditional fishermen would venture into the sea," he informed.

However, CS maintained that as per the information government has, the cyclone may skirt the Odisha coast. IMD hasn't predicted its landfall now, said SRC Sethi. He added that on May 2, the wind speed on and along Odisha coast will be 40 -50Km/hr. District Collectors in south Odisha and coastal districts were alerted to keep the 800 cyclone shelters ready for use in any exigency. Around 335 fire station units were put on alert mode. Also, the State administration will activate communication modes like SMS or VMR sets to alert people in likely affected districts.

Prior to SDMA meet, Union Cabinet Secretary has held a review meeting with all Chief Secretaries of concerned States that are to be affected by cyclone Fani.

Later in the day, the state government cancelled the leaves of its employees in four coastal districts.The leaves of government employees in Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Kendrapara have been cancelled as a precautionary measure ahead of the the cyclonic storm. CM Naveen Patnaik took stock of preparedness by the state administration to deal with cyclone Fani at the state secretariat.

As per the latest Special Bulletin from IMD, Cyclonic storm FANI has intensified into severe cyclonic storm over southeast & adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal & laid centred 770 km east of east-southeast of Chennai. It is likely to intensify into very severe cyclonic storm in next 24 hours and very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 & thereafter recurve north-northeastwards towards Odisha coast, the Special Bulletin predicted.