Cyclone Fani, a severe cyclonic storm, made landfall impact on Friday, May 3, 2019 around 8.00 a.m. south of Puri on the Odisha coast.
The entire process is expected to happen over the next two hours. The Odisha government on Thursday evacuated over 11 lakh people from low-lying areas in 15 districts. The area along Puri is witnessing strong winds. Large areas in Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. Several trees were uprooted and thatched structures destroyed at some places including Bhubaneswar.
Indian Navy P8I and Dornier aircraft are scheduled to be launched in the afternoon for undertaking aerial surveys to assess the extent of impact and devastation post Fani crossing the coast. Wildlife sanctuaries such as Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, Balukhanda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuaries were hit by the storm. Detailed reports about extent of damage are being awaited. All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight, Kolkata airport will be shut between 3 pm pm today and till 8 am on Saturday. A total of 140 trains including 83 passenger trains have been cancelled so far. After crossing Odisha, cyclone Fani is likely to move towards West Bengal before tapering off.
“In the next 3 hours, Cyclone Fani is expected to weaken with a wind speed of 150-160 km per hour, subsequently it will weaken and move north-northeastwards. By evening, it may weaken into severe cyclonic storm over extreme northern part of Odisha”. At least 14 districts in Odisha are in the path of the Cyclone Fani. People have been evacuated from Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Naygarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar which are expected to be badly impacted by the storm. Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated in last 24 hrs. Ganjam and Puri evacuated more than 3 lakh and 1.3 lakh people respectively to safe shelters. About 5000 kitchens started operating to serve people in the shelters. The IMD said the wind speed of the Extremely Severe Cyclone Fani could reach 200-230 kilometres when it makes the landfall.