Cyclone ‘Fani’ intensified into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ Monday evening and is headed towards the Odisha coast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
“IMD has predicted cyclone is likely to hit Odisha coast in Puri district on 3 May. All district collectors have been alerted. All cyclone centres are being kept ready,” Odisha Special Relief Commissioner, Bishnupada Sethi told ANI.
Fani could take the shape of an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ in the next 36 hours and is very likely to move northwestwards till the evening of 1 May and recurve north-northeastwards towards Odisha Coast, the IMD said on Tuesday.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at a few places over coastal Odisha and adjoining districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh on 3 and 4 May while light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places in West Bengal with heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over the coastal district.
Sethi said 20 units of the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force had been alerted and 12 units of NDRF were ready for search and rescue operation.
The government has put the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard on high alert, officials said.
The home ministry has ordered for advance release of financial assistance of Rs. 1086 crore to Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, to their State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) to assist them in undertaking preventive and relief measures in response to cyclonic storm
The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), the country’s top body to deal with emergency situation, Monday took stock of the situation arising out of cyclone ‘Fani’ and assured the state governments concerned of all assistance from the central government to face the storm.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea as cyclone ‘Fani’ is expected to intensify into a ‘very severe storm’ by Tuesday, the Home Ministry said.
The NDRF and the Indian Coast Guard are coordinating with the state governments, a Home Ministry statement said.
Officers of all the state governments concerned confirmed their full preparedness to deal with any emerging situation arising out of the cyclonic storm.
According to the IMD, the cyclone’s landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is ruled out. However, the possibility of landfall in Odisha is under continuous watch.
Regular warnings have been issued since April 25 to fishermen not to venture into the sea and asking those at sea to return to the coast.
The IMD has been issuing three hourly bulletins with latest forecast to all the states concerned. The Home Ministry is also in continuous touch with the state governments and the central agencies concerned, the statement said.
(With PTI inputs)