Cyclone Fani pummels Odisha after making landfall near Puri

Bhubaneswar: After keeping everybody on tenterhooks by frequently changing its track and speed, extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ hit Odisha coast near Puri today. The landfall process began at 8 AM and it is likely to continue till 11 AM today, informed Director of Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre, HR Biswas.

As per latest report of IMD, the extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ lay centered at  0730 hours  IST today near LAT. 19.60N AND LONG. 85.70E over northwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal about 25 km south-southwest of Puri.

“The current wind speed of the cyclone is 175-185 kmph gusting to 195 kmph. Puri reported maximum sustained wind speed of 142 kmph gusting to 174 kmph at 7:30 AM today,” said an IMD release.

The landfall started at 8 AM and the part of eye lies over land. The entire process of eye entering into land will be completed in the next two hours.

Cyclone Fani left a trail of destruction after it hit the landmass with high velocity winds gusting up to a speed of 170-180 kmph. Touted as one of the severe cyclones to hit Odisha in the past few decades, Fani has triggered torrential rain in several parts of the State including in Puri, Khurda, Ganjam and Gajapati district since Thursday night.

The Railways had earlier cancelled 147 trains between May 2 and May 4 emerging and passing through Odisha.

Odisha government undertook a massive operation to evacuate over 11 lakh people to safety in 13 districts which are in the path of the severe cyclonic storm.

A lot of people, who were evacuated in Satpada and other parts of the State, expressed dissatisfaction over lack of facilities at the cyclone shelters. Many alleged that most of such shelters lacked toilets, drinking water facilities while cooked meals were also not provided to them.