Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday visited Special Relief Organisation office to review preparedness in the wake of cyclone Fani. He also appealed the people to remain indoors until the ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm passes by, while advising all officials to make their best efforts to face the cyclone. The administration has also issued an emergency helpline number – +916742534177.

Cyclone Fani is likely to make a landfall off Odisha coast on Friday. Further, Kolkata airport will also remain shut from 9.30 pm on May 3 till 6 pm on May 4. It is also expected to hit other states on the eastern coast, such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Meanwhile, the flight operations from Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar were cancelled for next 24 hours on Thursday.

Earlier in the day, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said all authorities concerned have been alerted to remain ready to deal with the situation. Adding, he informed that all the airlines have been requested to offer assistance in rescue and relief operations.

“Alerted all concerned to be ready to deal with Cyclone Fani. Airports Authority of India issued alert to all coastal airports to ensure all precautions, SOPs (standard operating procedures) put in place immediately,” Prabhu tweeted.

In another tweet, the Union minister said, “All airlines are requested to offer all assistance for rescue and relief operations in view of cyclone Fani. All relief material should be airlifted to be delivered to officially designated agencies.”

Various airlines have already announced the change in the flights schedule in the wake of the oncoming cyclone. IndiGo issued a travel advisory on Twitter, saying, “Due to Cyclone Fani, flights to and from Visakhapatnam have been cancelled for today (May 2, 2019)”.

Vistara airline also issued a travel update on Twitter. It said as ‘Fani’ is likely to impact Bhubaneswar and Kolkata on May 2 and May 3, it is waiving “change and cancellation fee” for flights that will depart or arrive from these two cities between May 2 and May 5. Fare difference if any, will be applicable for date changes.

Meanwhile, GoAir said it “is waiving cancellation and change fees for Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Ranchi flights for travel between 2nd May 2019 to 5th May 2019. Passengers are allowed to re-book their flights within 7 days of scheduled departure.”

In a statement, GoAir said it “is waiving cancellation and change fees for Bhubaneswar, Kolkata and Ranchi flights for travel between 2nd May 2019 to 5th May 2019. Passengers are allowed to re-book their flights within 7 days of scheduled departure.”

Fani lays centred over westcentral Bay of Bengal, about 430 km south-southwest of Puri in Odisha, 225 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 650 km south-southwest of Digha in West Bengal, according to the latest bulletin of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

In view of severe cyclone Fani, the Indian Railways has decided to cancel or diverted route, the following southern coastal area bound trains passing through Eastern Railway system. The list of the same is as below:

1. 15905 Kanyakumari – Dibrugarh Vivek Express commencing journey on 2.5.2019 has been cancelled.
2. 15644 Kamakhya – Puri Express leaving Kamakhya on 2.5.2019 has been cancelled.
3. 22644 Patna – Ernakulam Express leaving Patna on 3.5.2019 has been cancelled.
4. 12503 Bengaluru Cant – Agartala Humsafar Express leaving Bengaluru Cant on 3.5.2019 will remain cancelled.
5. 06335 Guwahati -Kochuveli Special from Guwahati on 1.5.2019 to run on diverted route via Kharaghpur-Jharsuguda-Sambalpur-Titlagarh-Vizianagarm and Visakhapatnam.