Puri: With Cyclone Fani expected to make landfall south of Puri in Odisha soon, the East Central Railway has started a special train with reserved and unreserved berths. The train will start from Puri at 12 PM on Thursday and go towards Shalimar. There are a total of 8 stoppages- Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Jajpur, Kendujhar road, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur. The train will reach Bhubaneswar at about 1:30 PM.

Latest reports by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) suggest that Fani is about 450 km from the Odisha coast. At least 8 lakh evacuations will be made by evening today in the coastal districts of Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Cuttack and Jajpur. Meanwhile, the IMD has warned of heavy-to-very-heavy rainfall and winds up to 175 km/hr when the cyclone makes landfall.

As per 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.

As a precautionary measure, over 100 trains have been cancelled and two have been diverted by the Indian Railways until now.

Districts of East and West Medinipur, South and North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly, Jhargram and Kolkata along with Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected. Fani is also expected to move close to Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts.

With Fani hovering around the corner, north-east India is likely to receive heavy rains and witness strong winds by May 5. As per Skymet, a cyclonic circulation is persisting over Assam and adjoining areas. There is likely to be a slight dip in the intensity of rains as extremely severe cyclone Fani would move over North Bay of Bengal and the winds would converge around the system. This will lead to a decrease in the moisture content over Northeast India.