Bhubaneswar/Kolkata: Cyclone Fani, which made landfall on eastern coast of Odisha on Friday morning, killed eight people and left hundreds injured. The storm is likely to emerge into Gangetic West Bengal by early morning of May 4, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted.
The very severe cyclonic storm Fani over coastal Odisha moved north-northeastwards at 20 kmph in last 6 hours and weakened into severe cyclonic storm, the IMD said. It also added that the storm lay centered at 20.30 hours over Coastal Odisha about 110 km southwest of Midnapore in West Bengal, 80 km southwest of Digha and 210 km southwest of Kolkata.
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Further, the weather department has also expected the storm to continue to move north-northeastwards during next 12 hours and emerge into Gangetic West Bengal with wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 105 kmph during wee hours on May 4.
In the wake of the warning issued by the IMD, the Netaji Subhas Chandra Airport in Kolkata is likely to remain closed for flight operations on Saturday. The airport handles a total of 440 flight movements per day. Meanwhile, in Odisha, the flight operations at the Bhubaneswar airport are likely to resume from 1 PM on May 4. The development came in the wake of the review meeting held by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Friday.
On Friday, extensive damage was reported to kuchha houses, old buildings and temporary shops in Odisha’s Puri, while the power and telecom services remained completely down till the filing of this report. The NDRF and state forces have been deployed on road clearing duty. The Quick Reaction Team of Navy from INS Chilka also provided emergency assistance in nearby villages in cutting and clearing of trees which had fallen due to the storm.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that the Centre has released over Rs 1,000 crore in advance for the states affected by Cyclone Fani. While addressing an election rally in Hindaun in Rajasthan, he had said the government was with the people in times of crises.
“Lakhs of families are affected by a cyclone in the coastal areas of Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the Centre is in touch with the state governments. I got the latest update from officers some time ago and also held a detailed review meeting yesterday. More than Rs 1,000 crore have been released in advance,” he said.