Three people have been killed as Cyclone Fani made a landfall in Puri on Odisha coast around 8 am, heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds with speed of 175 kmph in vast areas. Several houses have been damaged in Odisha and thousand of people were evacuated. Large areas in Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. Two people were dead after cyclone struck Odisha.
The airport in Kolkata has been shut till 8 am on Saturday. The government of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are on high alert.
Cyclone Fani, pronounced “Foni”, is likely to be the highest intensity storm to hit Odisha in recent years. The cyclone is been classified as an “extremely severe cyclonic storm” by the India Meteorological Department, formed southeast of Sri Lanka around seven days ago.
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. 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.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and disaster management agencies on stand-by. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Thursday, reviewed preparedness for Cyclone Fani with his senior-most officials.