Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a ‘yellow warning’ to Odisha in wake of the approaching Cyclone Fani that has intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’, predicting heavy to very heavy rainfall in several parts of the coastal state. Areas such as Boudh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Deogarh, and Sundargarh are among those who have been asked to stay alert.
“Heavy to very heavy rainfall is expected at isolated places in the districts of Boudh, Kalahandi, Sambalpur, Deogarh and Sundargarh in Odisha,” the IMD said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has approved the provision of lifting off the Model of Code of Conduct (MCC) from some of the districts in Odisha in view of the cyclone alert. The MCC is being lifted to facilitate speedy rescue operations in the areas likely to be affected by Cylcone Fani.
The weathermen have said that Fani has transformed into an ‘Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm’ and is expected to make landfall by May 3 afternoon. “It is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 noon and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with a maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph,” an IMD circular said.
The disaster management division of the Home Ministry has also put out a notification that the cyclone will move northwestwards by today noon and later recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, according to an ANI report, moving southwards of Puri around May 3 afternoon at a wind speed of 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.
The weather report stated that gale winds of 150 -160 kmph gusting to 170 kmph is likely to hit the districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara; 110-120 kmph gusting to 130 kmph over the districts of Gajapati, Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore; 80-90 kmph over the districts of Nayagarh, Angul, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and 30-40 kmph gusting to 50 kmph over other districts by May 3 evening.
The IMD has issued a heavy rainfall warning for several states that share the coastline of the Bay of Bengal, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the Indian Navy’s Eastern Command is all set to carry out rescue and relief operations along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Naval and Coast Guard ships and choppers have been deployed along with the Indian Army and Indian Air Force units ready for carrying out Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
Taking precautionary measures in view of the approaching cyclonic storm, the Indian Air Force and BrahMos Aerospace also put on hold the test of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Sukhoi-30 MKI jets.
The weathermen have advised fishermen to not venture out into the sea, along with issuing an advisory to suspend all rail and road operations on the coastal stretches, including motor boats and small ships.