Armed forces on alert as Odisha braces for cyclonic storm 'Fani'

Thursday, 02 May, 2019

Light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places is very likely in Kerala, at a few places in north coastal Tamil Nadu and south coastal Andhra Pradesh till Wednesday. National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard units are in touch with the governments of the states constantly.

During the meeting, officers of all the state governments concerned confirmed their full preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.

The state is bracing for a severe cyclonic storm that is expected to cross its coast near Satapada in Puri district on 3 May afternoon with wind speed of 175-185 kmph.

"Evacuation and rescue of people likely to be affected to safe places, restoration of road communication immediately after cyclone, and proper distribution of relief materials with zero casualties are is the foremost priority of Odisha Police", said State Director General of Police R.P. Sharma.

A report in weather.com states that it is moving in north-northwestward direction over the Bay of Bengal.

Once the cyclone has made landfall in north-eastern India, it is expected to move towards Chittagong in Bangladesh.

As it packed power, the Odisha Government alerted all districts while issuing special instructions to 14 coastal and interior districts to remain vigilant. Another threat of heavy rain and gusty winds persists in the region due to very severe cyclonic storm "Fani", even though the trajectory at present remains uncertain.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has approved the lifting of model code of conduct in 11 districts in Odisha to facilitate speedy relief and rescue operation in view of cyclonic storm Fani, a poll official said on Wednesday. "We have requested the cabinet secretary to station two helicopters for extra air-dropping, if required and additional NDRF teams as our primary task is evacuation", Chief Secretary AP Padhi told reporters following a review meeting.

The bulletin also directed that fishing operations be totally suspended and said the movement of motor boats and small ships is not advisable. In addition, the NDRF is keeping on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh, the official said.

As the sea will be very rough, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the waters from May 2 off Odisha and West Bengal coasts.

The districts of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur may experience extremely heavy rainfall during the landfall.