Cyclone Fani: With the biggest storm in 20 years beckoning the eastern part of India, star cricketers like Virat Kohli and Virender Sehwag took to their social handle to pray for the safety of the citizens. The warning for the storm was given well ahead of time and since then more than a lakh people have been evacuated. The impact of the storm was felt in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, and Odisha. The storm is expected to hit the economy and the cricketers were right out there to show their support. Kohli took to Twitter and his post read, “Praying for everyone affected by #CycloneFani. Stay safe.”

The storm, which made landfall a little after 10 a.m., is likely to enter West Bengal with a wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph by Friday midnight or early Saturday, an official said here.

“The intense rainfall and winds have partly destroyed nearly 50 houses. The affected areas include Ramnagar Block 1 and 2, Contai Block, Egra and Nandakumar,” East Midnapore District Magistrate Partha Ghosh told IANS over phone.

He said nearly 22,000 people were moved from their houses to ensure their safety. Most of them have gone to their relatives’ houses. “About 7,000 people are staying in rescue shelters. We have opened 56 rescue shelters,” he added.