Updated: 5/4/2019 7:40:00 AM
According to the Meteorological department, the extremely severe cyclonic storm relatively weakened after entering coastal Odisha and transformed into "very severe" as it approached Bengal.
Cyclone Fani has entered West Bengal, hours after making landfall and causing havoc in Odisha on Friday. One of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, the cyclone uprooted trees and triggered rains in Bengal on Saturday night. No loss of life or any injury has been reported so far. Around 15,000 people spent last night at shelters in coastal East Midnapore district, while 20,000 people stayed at shelters in West Midnapore district.
Braced for the worst after Met declared Super Cyclone Fani to hit Odisha earlier this week, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said "a record 1.2 million people were evacuated in 24 hours" claiming to have carried out the "biggest human evacuation in history", according to news agency IANS. This mammoth exercise involved more than 45,000 volunteers," says Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
Updated: 5/2/2019 11:35:21 AM
The Government of India has started evacuating close to 1 million people living in the path of Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm "Fani", while 100 million people are on the path of worst cyclone in 20 years.
As Fani was classified as an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" in India, the country's coast guard and navy deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and air force units have also been put on standby in Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh states.
Eleven districts along the Odisha coast are on red alert, and some 900 cyclone shelters have been set up to house evacuees. Schools were shuttered across the state Thursday and Friday. Teams are going door to door to warn people.
Evacuations have also begun in neighboring Andhra Pradesh, while those in West Bengal have been told to be ready to leave, officials told CNN.
India's National Disaster Management Authority said the "total destruction of thatched houses" was possible, as well as "extensive damage" to other structures.
The latest forecast track by RSMC New Delhi, the authority for this region, calls for landfall to take place in the morning, May 3, 2019 south of Puri, between Gopalpur and Chandbali, Odisha. Maximum sustained surface winds at the time of landfall are expected to be between 170 and 180 km/h with gusts to 200 km/h - Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm.
It is very likely to move further NNE and emerge into Bangladesh on the evening of May 4 as a Cyclonic Storm with a wind speed of 60 - 70 km/h and gusts to 80 km/h.
The storm surge of about 1.5 m above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha state at the time of landfall.
With maximum sustained winds of 250 km/h on May 2, Fani became the strongest of any cyclones this early in a calendar year in the North Indian Ocean since the Bangladesh Cyclone of 1991.
Published Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Cyclone Fani intensified into a severe cyclonic storm on Monday evening and is headed towards the Odisha coast, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
It could take a shape of an "extremely severe cyclone" by Wednesday, prompting the government to put the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard on high alert, officials said.
“It is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 evening and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards towards the Odisha coast,” the bulletin said.
The NDRF and the Indian Coast Guard have been put on high alert and the 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 wind speed of a cyclonic storm is 80-90 kilometres per hour with wind gusting up to 100 kmph. In case of an "extremely severe cyclonic storm", the wind speed goes up to 170-180 kmph and could gain the speed of 195 kmph.
The NCMC met here under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and took stock of the situation. Chief secretaries, principal secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal attended the meeting through video conference.
The NDRF and the Indian Coast Guard are coordinating with the state governments. The home ministry has assured the state governments to release in advance the first instalment of the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF), as per their request, a Home Ministry statement said.
The NCMC meeting followed directions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is closely monitoring the situation. The NCMC will meet again on Tuesday to take stock of the situation.
Storm Fani Facts
Affected Area: 1 km.
Alert Level: Yellow
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