A massive operation was launched in Odisha Thursday to evacuate over eight lakh people from low-lying coastal areas as the extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' moved closer to the eastern coast, officials said.
As per the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani lay centred 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.
Here are the LIVE updates:
7:54 pm: No flight will depart or arrive at Kolkata airport between 9.30 pm of May 3 and 6 pm of May 4 due to cyclone Fani, says DGCA.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation in a release has said that no flight will depart or arrive at Kolkata airport between 9.30 pm of May 3 and 6 pm of May 4 due to cyclone Fani. The cyclone is expected to enter West Bengal on May 3 midnight or May 4 early morning as a Severe Cyclonic Storm. Heavy rainfall is expected on May 3 and 4. The West Bengal government has ordered against fishing and sea bound activities in coastal areas since May 2.
7:55 pm: Around 102 trains cancelled, 3 special trains put in service to ferry stranded tourists in Odisha.
7:44 pm: No flight will depart or arrive at Kolkata airport between 9.30 pm of May 3 and 6 pm of May 4 due to cyclone Fani, says DGCA.
5:18 pm: Over 4,000 specialised personnel as part of 81 NDRF teams have been deployed to deal with the 'extremely severe' cyclone 'Fani' in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal which are feared to be affected while another 31 teams have been kept on standby.
5:10 pm: The Odisha Police have moved a staggering 1,87,000 people living close to the coast and in kutcha houses to the marked safe zones and shelter homes.
Pregnant women are being given special care during the evacuation process.
As per the instructions of @DGPOdisha Evacuation process in vulnerable areas is in full swing. A whopping 1,87,000 people living close to the coast and in kutcha houses in Ganjam dist have been moved to the marked safe zones and cyclone shelters #CycloneFani #OdishaPrepared4Fani pic.twitter.com/69AjLTmtrJ— Odisha Police (@odisha_police) May 2, 2019
4:50 pm: Around 89 trains have been cancelled in the last two days in view of the 'extremely severe' cyclonic storm 'Fani', which is likely to affect Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal, while three special trains have been put into service to ferry stranded passengers from affected areas, the Railways said today.
The national transporter said it will refund passengers for the cancelled or diverted trains if tickets are produced for cancellation within three days from the scheduled date of journey.
The Railways had cancelled 81 trains on Wednesday.
4:35 pm: Preparations are in full swing at Red Cross Bhavan in Bhubaneshwar for the distribution of relief material.
2:15 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani. The meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the PM, Additional Principal Secretary to the PM, the Home Secretary and other senior officials from IMD, NDRF, NDMA and PMO etc
Visuals: PM today chaired a high-level meeting in Delhi to review preparedness for Cyclone #Fani. Meeting was attended by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secy to the PM, Additional Principal Secretary to the PM, the Home Secretary&other senior officials from IMD, NDRF, NDMA&PMO etc. pic.twitter.com/OJd8o7ILwU— ANI (@ANI) May 2, 2019
1:55 pm: Cyclone Fani To Make Landfall At 12pm On Friday.
1:00 pm: The Puri district administration has begun evacuating tourists in special buses of the Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) since Thursday morning. A total of 10 buses will be pushed into service.
12:45 pm: The Nilachakra Bana (flag) atop Puri Srimandir snapped off due to strong winds on Thursday. The Shree Jagannath Temple Administration (SJTA) had instructed on Tuesday to tie only one short flag to the Nilachakra atop the shrine from May 1 to 5 to ensure there is no interruption in the rituals at the temple. Another flag of the same length will be tied firmly around its rim.
12:30 pm: In anticipation of heavy rains, Gajapati district administration shifted the polled Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from strongroom Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati High School to Collector’s Office on Wednesday. The process took place in the presence of Collector Anup Kumar Saha, three platoons of the police force, and party agents.
12: 15 pm: Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik urged people of Odisha to stay safe and not panic as the state readies to face Cyclone Fani
12:09 pm: Heavy rains lash Odisha as the state braces for impact from Cyclone Fani
11:30 am: Director, Met Department, Bhubaneswar says south coastal and interior Odisha will receive heavy to very hevay rainfall today.
HR Biswas, Director, Met Dept, Bhubaneswar: Today mostly south coastal Odisha & adjoining interior Odisha will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall. Tomorrow all 11 coastal districts along with & adjoining interior districts will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall. #Fani pic.twitter.com/mD0g1hG0WT— ANI (@ANI) May 2, 2019
11:00 am: Cyclone Fani is likely to move north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast near Puri on May 3 evening with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph and gusting up to 200 kmph, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
10:30 am: At least 14 Odisha districts - Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Khurda, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Gajapati, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar - are likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone, which is also likely to impact Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
10:00 am: Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard have been put on high alert to meet any eventuality. Personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service have been sent to vulnerable
areas to assist the administration, an official said.
#CycloneFanu #IndianNavy ships Sahyadri, Ranvir & Kadmatt with HADR stores onboard will be following the Cyclone keeping South of the 'Eye of Storm' and remain standby to be the 'First responder at place of Cyclone crossing coast @SpokespersonMoD @DefenceMinIndia @nsitharaman pic.twitter.com/aG6lbsRD6X— SpokespersonNavy (@indiannavy) May 2, 2019