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New Delhi, May 1: Cyclone Fani, which intensified into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ on Monday evening, is now headed towards the Odisha coast, the India Meteorological Department has said, adding that it could take the shape of an ‘extremely severe cyclone’ by Wednesday.

1. The IMD has issued a formal cyclone alert for Odisha, West Bengal and parts of Andhra Pradesh, and suggested evacuation of coastal areas.

The Odisha government has issued a high alert in the coastal districts in view of the intensifying cyclonic storm which is headed towards the Odisha coast. It is likely to make landfall by Friday afternoon. Disaster management teams have been kept on standby.

2. The Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said Cyclone ‘Fani’ (pronounced Foni) lays southwest and adjoining west-central and southeast Bay of Bengal about 760 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) and 560 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and about 660 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka).

3. The current trend of the cyclone has offered hints that the storm may pass through the Odisha coastline between Puri and Balasore. We have, therefore, directed all district authorities to remain alert to tackle any eventuality, said Bishnupada Sethi, the states Special Relief Commissioner.

4. ‘Fani’ is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 evening and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185km per hour gusting to 205 kmph, the IMD said.

5. The wind speed of a cyclonic storm is 80-90 kmph gusting up to 100 kmph. In case of an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’, the wind speed goes up to 170-180 kmph and could gain the speed of 195-200 kmph.

In view of the severity of the situation, the Indian Navy has stationed two ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai carrying expert divers and doctors, an official said.

Aircraft of the Indian Navy are also in a state of readiness at two locations for emergency services.

With Agencies, Pic Google

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