Cyclone ‘Fani’ inches closer to Odisha; Catch all the Live Updates

Bhubaneswar: Extremely severe Cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ inches closer to Odisha every hour threatening maximum impact on the State.

Latest updates state that cyclone Fani is located at around 570 km South-Southwest of Puri and 390 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam coast. The cyclone is moving towards Odisha at a speed of 10 km per hour. It is likely to move North-Northwestwards till May 1 noon and thereafter recurve North-Northeastwards.

As per IMD, the cyclonic storm is likely to cross Odisha coast near Puri between the coast of Gopalpur and Chandbali. During the time of landfall, the speed of the cyclone is likely to remain 175 to 185 kmph gusting up to 200 kmph.

Here are the live updates:
There are special bus service for West Bengal tourists in Puri. Five OSRTC buses will leave from Puri to Kharagpur from May 2 morning; tourists can get information from collector’s office, informed officer in charge of relief & restoration work in Puri district, Suresh Mohapatra.

The IMD predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall forecast for tomorrow (May 2) in Puri, Khurda, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Kandhamal districts.

The East Coast Railway has cancelled as many as 103 trains in view of Cyclone Fani.

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik exhorted people of Odisha not to panic and stay safe during Cyclone Fani through a sand art at Puri beach.

Cyclone Fani lies centred around 610 km south-southwest of Puri and is moving north-northeastwards at a speed of 6 kmph, said IMD’s latest bulletin.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal took stock of all pre-cyclone preparedness to deal with the impending strike of Cyclone Fani. Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi apprised the Governor about steps taken to tackle any eventuality.

Arrangements have been made to provide shelter to around 10 lakh people at different shelter houses following evacuation. Apart from this, one lakh dry food packets have been kept ready in Bhubaneswar. If need arises, the food packets will be airdropped, said Odisha SRC.

“Tourists have been asked to leave Puri by May 2. Hotels in the pilgrim town have also been directed not to get bookings from May 2 to May 5,” the SRC added.

Cyclone Fani will make landfall at 5:30 PM on May 3; evacuation in Puri to be completed by tomorrow evening, informed Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupad Sethi.

As per the IMD forecast, Cyclone Fani is expected to make a landfall in Puri at 5:30 PM on May 3, informed Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupad Sethi after a meeting between Cabinet Secretary and Chief Secretary.

“We are fully prepared to tackle the situation following a landfall of Cyclone Fani,” said NDRF DG Satya Narayan Pradhan.

After meeting Union Cabinet secretary, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said, “All assistance will be provided to Odisha to tackle Cyclone Fani; arrangements will be made for the State’s demand for two helicopters.”

Odisha government has appointed 11 senior IPS officers to supervise relief and rescue operations in coastal districts of the State.

Process for evacuation of one lakh people from Khurda district will begin from tomorrow; three NDRF, one ODRAF team and 200 members of Civil Defence Force will be deployed in the district, informed Khurda Collector.

All examinations in 164 colleges under Biju Patnaik University of Technology (BPUT) on May 2, 3 and 4 have been re-scheduled in view of cyclone Fani. The new dates of examinations are May 25, 27 and 28, respectively.

The East Coast Railway has informed that train services between Bhadrak and Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh are likely to be called off in view of cyclone Fani. It has advised railway passengers to plan their their journey accordingly.

In view of possible damage during cyclone Fani, the Nandankanan Zoological Park authorities have announced to shut down the park from May 2 to May 4.

Odisha Higher Education department has directed all state universities and colleges coming under its administrative control and located in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore & Mayurbhanj districts to remain closed from 2nd May to 4th May. It has also asked all teaching, non-teaching and administrative staff of the Universities & colleges to attend office as usual to conduct their normal activities other than teaching and examination.

In view of cyclone Fani, State Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said adequate precautionary measures are being taken to ensure safety of VVPATs and EVMs stashed in strong rooms after the conclusion of 4-phased general elections.

Based on the reports of safety standards and possibility of any damage to strong room during the cyclone from all the district administrations, the Election Commission has been recommended for shifting of strong rooms at some places and also strengthening steps like retrofitting and waterproofing in the centres. Any modifications to be done at particular strong rooms will be carried out after notification to candidates of all parties in that segment, said the CEO.

Deputy Commandant of NDRF 3rd Battalion. Mundali, Bira Kumar Das has informed that so far 10 units of NDRF have already been deployed while other 18 teams are being dispatched to designated areas for rescue and relief operations during the cyclone. Out of the total, 18 teams of 3rd Battalion and 10 other units from outside of the State have been mobilised.

Odisha government has appointed five senior IAS officers for supervision of relief, restoration and rehabilitation works arising out of cyclone ‘Fani’ in five districts of the State. While Forest and Environment Secretary Suresh Moahaptra has been assigned to take charge of Puri district, S&ME secretary has been given charge of Jagatsinghpur. Similarly, Water Resources secretary PK Jena has been assigned Kendrapara, Central Range RDC Anil Samal will be in charge of Jajpur and TET Director Balwant Singh has been given charge of Balasore district.

Basing on JTWC’s report, SRC Bishnupada Sethi informed that cyclone ‘Fani’ is likely to cross Odisha through Satpada and Balukhand area in Puri district during the afternoon of May 3. After making landfall, the cyclone is likely to pass through Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur and enter West Bengal.

District administrations have been directed to complete evacuation to all the 879 cyclone shelters and strong pucca buildings that can withstand storm and inundation in vulnerable by tomorrow.

All 28 teams of NDRF, 20 ODRAF units and other Fire Services units have been roped in and they will be dispatched to areas on priority basis by today according to likelihood of cyclone impact.

“We have also prepared for air dropping of relief in case it is required during the cyclone, apart from stationing two choppers at Bhubaneswar for immediate rescue and other operations,” said the SRC.

Regional Meteorological Centre Director HR Biswas has informed that more than 20 cm of rain is likely to lash the State during the cyclonic movement. Capital Bhubaneswar is likely to see stormy wind with speed of more than 100 kmph, he said.

The State Special Relief Commissioner has issued a directive asking all tourists to leave Puri by May 2.

After directive of the Election Commission of India, Odisha government has lifted model code of conduct from 11 districts – Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur to facilitate speedy rescue, relief and restoration activities to face cyclonic storm.

Three teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been dispatched to Jagatsinghpur while two other teams have been sent to Bhadrak.

Odisha government has ordered closure of all educational institutions across the State from May 2. All examinations scheduled to be held have been postponed till further notice.

May 2: IMD has issued Orange Warning and forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall over districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khurda South Coastal Odisha and Rayagada and Kandhamal districts of South-Interior Odisha.

May 3: Red Warning has been issued with forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall over districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Balasore, Kandhamal, Rayagada, Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj. Isolated extremely heavy rainfall has also been predicted for districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore and Mayurbhanj. Similarly, Yellow warning has been issued for Boudh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundergarh districts.

May 4: Red warning has been issued for districts of Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Balasore, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj with forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall.

Till now, danger signal number 2 has been hoisted at all ports of the State.

Storm surge of about 1.5 m height above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.