Cyclone Fani: Massive Evacuations Underway in Cyclone Prone DistrictsMay 02, 2019 16:01
(Image source from: TheIndianExpress)
The authorities in several districts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal are currently active in carrying out massive evacuations on grounds of warning of “extremely severe” cyclonic storm “Fani”.
At least 19 districts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal, besides Kolkata, are likely to be affected by Fani.
Fani, labeled as a category 3 storm on a scale of 1 to 5, is fast approaching India's eastern coast and is likely to hit south of Puri on Friday, officials have warned.
Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house evacuees while troops of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and 78 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been requisitioned for deployment.
As per the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani lay centered over West Central Bay of Bengal about 430 km south-southwest of Puri in Odisha, 225 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 650 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal.
The cyclone is being tracked by Doppler Weather Radars at Chennai, Vishakhapatnam, and Machilipatnam.
The IMD has forecast rainfall at most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places in coastal Odisha and the interior districts of the state on May 3.
Several areas are likely to receive rainfall up to 20 cm under the impact of the cyclone, Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, HR Biswas said.
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.
India's biggest oil and gas producer ONGC has evacuated close to 500 of its employees from offshore installations in the Bay of Bengal and moved drilling rigs to safer locations.
Moreover, a control room has been set up to monitor the situation developing on the eastern coast.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has put its 15 million tonnes a year Paradip oil refinery on high alert but operations have not been suspended, they said adding employees have been instructed to take all precautions.
Massive Evacuation in Odisha
A massive operation was launched in Odisha Thursday to evacuate over eight lakh people from low-lying coastal areas.
Fani is likely to move north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast near Puri on May 3 evening with a maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph and gusting up to 200 kmph, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said.
Red Alert in North Coastal Andhra Pradesh
A red alert has been sounded in Srikakulam district of north coastal Andhra Pradesh Wednesday as heavy rains with winds gusting up to 120 kmph are likely under the influence of the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani.
Heavy rainfall has also been predicted in adjoining Vizianagaram district and scattered rainfall in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts along the Bay of Bengal on May 2 and 3.
Fani will cross land between north coastal Odisha and extreme south coastal West Bengal on May 3 midnight and early hours of May 4 with a wind speed of 150 kmph, Real Time Governance Centre (RTGC) of Andhra Pradesh said in a release.
In addition, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) has canceled over 103 trains for the safety and security of passengers in view of the cyclone, an ECoR official said.