Cyclone Fani is the strongest cyclone since 1970 to form in Bay of Bengal in the month of Apirl (early may).

As of 05:30 IST (00:00 UTC) 2 May, Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani is located  about 480km south-southwest of Puri, India, and about 230km east of Vishakhapatnam, India. Maximum 3-minute sustained wind speeds are about 215 km/h (130 mph), while 1-minute sustained wind speeds are about 250 km/h (155 mph); gusts are reaching 280 km/h (175 mph). The minimum central pressure is estimated at 939 hPa (27.73 inHg) and it is moving north-northeastwards at 8 kn (15 km/h; 9 mph).

During next 36 hours it is expected to hit coasts of odhisha and est rainfall of 230mm and wind speed of 200km/hr atleast. About 800,000 or 8 lac people have been evacuated from the low lying areas of 14 districts.

IMD bulletin said storm surge of about 1.5 metre above astronomical tide is likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of possible landfall.

Indian Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said all authorities concerned have been alerted so that they are ready to deal with cyclone ‘Fani’ and all airlines have been requested to offer assistance in rescue and relief operations.

Over 4,000 specialised personnel as part of 81 NDRF teams have been deployed to deal with the ‘extremely severe’ cyclone ‘Fani’

NASA satellites Aqua and Terra are tracking Cyclone Fani as it continued to move northwards along the eastern coast of India. Satellites are providing infrared, microwave and visible imagery.

Indian PM Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani. Meeting attended by the Cabinet Secretary, the Principal Secretary to the PM, the Additional Principal Secretary to the PM, the Home Secretary, and senior officials from the IMD, NDRF, NDMA and PMO.

Alerted all concerned to be ready to deal with Cyclone Fani. Airport Authority of India issued alert to all coastal airports to ensure all precautions, SOPs (standard operating procedures) put in place immediately,” Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu tweeted.

Here are the live updates from India regarding Cyclone Fani:

* Indian South Eastern Railway has cancelled 43 trains scheduled to run between Howrah and Puri, and other destinations in south India over the next two days.

* Two more special trains will start from Puri at 3 pm & 6 pm today for Howrah. Stoppages- Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendujhar road, Bhadrak, Balasore & Kharagpur. #CycloneFani

* India will use boats, buses and trains to evacuate 800,000 people along its east coast

* Cyclone likely to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with maximum wind speed of 205 kmph.

* Several areas are likely to receive rainfall up to 20 cm under the impact of the cyclone.

* As sea condition will be rough and phenomenal over Northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha and West Bengal till May 4, fishermen have been advised not to venture into sea in this period.

* The Indian Navy has stationed two ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai carrying expert divers and doctors.

* Indian Air Force has also been alerted.

* All the 880 cyclone centres have been readied for the purpose. Boats have also been kept in a state of readiness.

* NDRF has deployed 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (eight teams), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (five teams). In addition, the NDRF is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh.

* Higher education department has directed all state universities and colleges in Odisha to remain closed for three days from May 2.

Cyclone Fani: 800,000 evacuated as India braces for historical storm of May
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Mohammad Faizan

Posted by Mohammad Faizan

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