New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness on the ground ahead of Cyclone Fani. The cyclone is expected to make landfall tomorrow afternoon on the Odisha coast, south of Puri. The Prime Minister instructed his senior officers to stay in close touch with states, which are likely to bear the brunt the cyclone, and ensure effective measures are taken. According to the latest forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JWTC), Fani, is the most severe cyclonic storm since the super cyclone of 1999 that devastated large parts of the state.
Here are the top 10 points
- Evacuations have started on a war footing in the coastal districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur.
- The Indian Meteorological Department has warned of very heavy rainfall, “phenomenal sea conditions” and winds up to 175 km/hr when the cyclone makes landfall south of Puri.
- The defence forces are on high alert ahead of Cyclone Fani. 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.
- The NDRF has deployed 28 teams in Odisha, 12 in Andhra Pradesh and six teams in West Bengal for relief and rescue work. Over 30 additional teams are on standby with boats, tree cutters, telecom equipment said officials.
- The storm is currently over the Bay of Bengal about 450 km southwest of Puri and moving towards the coast at a speed of 6 km/hr, the IMD said in its weather bulletin.
- The Indian Railways cancelled 89 trains including Howrah-Chennai Central Coromandal Express, Patna-Eranakulam Express, New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, Howrah-Hyderabad East Coast Express, Bhubaneswar-Rameswaram Express, New Delhi-Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express, New Delhi-Puri Nandan Kanan Express and Puri-New Delhi Purushottam Express.
- Leave of all doctors and health officials have been cancelled till May 15, said Odisha chief secretary AP Padhi. The state police chief RP Sharma said that leave of all police personnel have also been cancelled and those on leave have been asked to immediately report for duty.
- Senior officers in the state administration have been asked to personally oversee relief, rescue operations in the coastal districts.Around 880 cyclone shelters have been set up in these districts.
- Cyclone Fani is also likely to impact Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. In West Bengal, it will affect East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram districts and state capital Kolkata. In Andhra Pradesh, three districts of Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam are likely to be affected.
- Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed his administration to evacuate people from low-lying areas by today evening, keeping in mind the forecast of massive tides that could surge up to 1.5 metres during the landfall.
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