Eastern coast of India is likely to experience an ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’, as Cyclone ‘FANI’ alternatively pronounced as ‘FONI’ is on the move. In a tweet this morning, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) updated that according to early morning recordings taken today at 0530 hrs, IST the cyclonic storm is 450 km away from Puri. It is expected to cross the Odisha coast near Puri by Friday afternoon (3rd May 2019). Nineteen districts of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are also likely to be affected in the wake of the Cyclone and are advised to be on high alert. Heavy showers and phenomenal sea conditions are expected to accompany the cyclone.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the preparedness level in the state and said that 8 lakh people are to be evacuated from vulnerable areas to safer places by today. The Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service have been deployed in vulnerable areas to help the administration in evacuations.
What is the trajectory of the Cyclone?
The cyclone is moving northwards at a speed of 5 km per hour for the last six hours. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in a tweet on April 30th, had earlier warned that it is likely to hit the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali in the south of Puri on 3rd May with a wind speed of 175-185 km/h gusting up to 205 km/h.
What are the High Alert Areas?
Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh is under “Red Alert.” The IMD issued a “Yellow Alert” on Wednesday in the state of Odisha. West Bengal and three districts of Andhra Pradesh are also on a similar “Yellow Alert.” News Tracker reported that rainfall ranging from isolated heavy to very heavy is very likely over Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Khordha, Koraput, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts of Odisha on Thursday. A red warning, which necessitates on-ground actions, has also been issued for Friday in these districts as well as in Puri, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul, Keonjhar and Mayurbhaj districts of the state. Parts of Tamil Nadu are also expected to experience rough and stormy weather accompanied by heavy showers.
What are the measures taken in anticipation of the cyclonic storm?
- The defence forces are on high alert, and the Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have stepped up their efforts to ensure safety at sea. Their ships are equipped with additional relief materials, and the Navy has also kept two aircraft on standby.
- Schools and Colleges are expected to remain closed for the next three days.
- The East Coast Railway cancelled 22 trains on Wednesday taking the total tally of cancelled trains to 103.
- Fishermen were asked to stay away from the seas from May 1 to May 5 and also asked to stay tuned for radio updates in a special bulletin issued yesterday, by the weather department in their states.
- NDTV reported that at least 97.40 lakh SMSes, including 26.30 lakh today, have been sent through Early Warning Dissemination System (Location Based Alert System) to people living in areas likely to be impacted by cyclone, the government said.
Indian Meteorological department Forecast for India (2nd May 2019):
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