Cyclone Fani made a landfall in Puri on Odisha coast around 8 am, triggering heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds with speed of 175 kmph in vast areas.
The process of landfall is expected to continue for the next two hours, the weather office said. The area along Puri is witnessing winds with a speed of 142 kilometres per hour that could reach up to 180-200 kmph, Mritunjay Mohapatra, in-charge of the Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
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.
Cyclone Fani also triggered heavy rains in parts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, where gusty winds with speed reaching up to 140 kmph uprooted trees and electricity poles, officials said. The cyclone moved close to north coastal Andhra before it made landfall in Odisha.
The Odisha government has already evacuated lakhs of people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds. 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.
All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight; Kolkata airport will be shut between 9.30 pm on Friday to till 6 pm 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.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and disaster management agencies are fully prepared and on stand-by. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, reviewed preparedness for Cyclone Fani with his senior-most officials.
#FaniUpdates— Central Railway (@Central_Railway) May 3, 2019
In order to clear stranded passengers at Visakhapatnam & near by areas, #Railways will run a special train from #Visakhapatnam today to #Mumbai as per timings & stoppages of Konark Exp. Public are requested to make use of this special train service. @eastcoastrail pic.twitter.com/Rr23ajewAn
Odisha:Under the imact of post-Fani cyclonic storm, extremely heavy downpour is occuring in Puri,Khurda, Bhubaneswar,Jagatsinghpur.— All India Radio News (@airnewsalerts) May 3, 2019
The impact of cyclone will last till this evening. pic.twitter.com/72zbgfK3sO