Bhubaneswar: Cyclone Fani is set to make landfall near Puri in Odisha on Friday morning with speed of gusting 180-200 kmph, affecting about 10,000 villages. If reports are to be believed, the state administration has moved over 11 lakh people to safer places. The storm is likely to hit between 12 PM to 2 PM. All colleges and soft business establishments will remain closed till further notice.

Earlier on Thursday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Special Relief Organisation office to review preparedness in the wake of ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm, appealing people to remain indoors until it passes by. The administration also issued an emergency helpline number – +916742534177.

Further, the administration has also decided to disconnect the power supply when the wind speed reaches 50 km per hour as a precautionary measure for the safety of people and equipment. The same will be restored in a phased manner once the wind speed reduces.

As per the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani would hit the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali. At the time of landfall, low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts are likely to be inundated due to high tides. The storm is later predicted to move towards West Bengal with wind speeds of 115 kmph. On Saturday evening, it is ‘very likely’ to move further north-north-eastwards and emerge into Bangladesh.

Till Friday, light to moderate rainfall with heavy to extremely heavy falls at isolated locations is expected in north Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha. Rains are also likely in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland with chances of heavy falls at certain locations on Saturday and Sunday.

The IMD also added that the sea conditions are ‘very likely to be very rough’ to high off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, along and off south Andhra Pradesh coasts till Friday and the fishermen have been advised not to venture into deep sea areas.

The Odisha government have established 900 cyclone shelters to house the evacuees. Arrangements have been made to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements over public address systems, mass SMS and local media. Additionally, teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been put in place.

All necessary measures have been taken to prevent any loss of life and to keep in readiness essential supplies including food, drinking water and medicines.

The Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations while the Army and Air Force units in the these states have also been put on standby.

Flight And Train Operations Affected

On the other hand, the flight operations from Bhubaneswar were suspended from midnight of Thursday, while operations from Kolkata airport also will remain suspended from Friday morning until conditions improve.

The railways have already suspended operations of trains in Odisha and all trains in Bhadrak-Vizianagaram section (of the Kolkata-Chennai route) has been cancelled till Saturday. A total of 140 trains including 83 passenger trains have been cancelled so far.