Odisha braces for cyclone Fani, cancels officials’ leaves ahead of landfall
The Odisha government has cancelled leave of all government officials in coastal Ganjam, Kendrapara and Puri districts after a Met office warning that cyclone Fani was moving towards the state’s coast by this weekend.
Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who chaired a high-level meeting on Monday, directed officials to remain prepared with essential medicines, food and drinking water. Padhi said safe concrete houses and cyclone shelters have been identified.
“Twenty teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, 12 units of National Disaster Response Force and 335 units of state fire services have been kept in readiness,” he said.
Watch | Cyclone Fani likely to hit Odisha on Friday; NDRF, rescue teams kept ready
Quoting Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) officials, the chief secretary said Cyclone Fani heading towards Odisha, is now about 840 km off the Chennai coast and will continue to move North-West and change its path to North-East from May 1. The cyclone is then likely to re-curve towards Odisha coast and may cause heavy to very heavy rainfall across the state.
Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said the exact place and time of landfall of cyclone Fani will be confirmed later.
IMD officials said Fani would develop into an extremely severe cyclonic storm between 11.30 am on May 2 and 11.30 pm on May 3 at around with sustained wind speed of 170 -180 km per hour and gusts up to 195 km per hour.
Sethi said cyclone during this part of the year is an unusual phenomenon. “But we are passing on the information of IMD and Joint Typhoon Warning Centre of US Navy to district collectors of the coastal areas,” he said, adding that the cyclone will trigger rainfall in State’s coastal areas from May 2.
In October 2018, more than 60 people died when cyclone Titli ravaged Odisha. The cyclone destroyed 57,000 houses and damaged 2.7 lakh hectares of land.