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'Extremely severe' cyclone targets India, sparking evacuation of over 800000 people

'Extremely severe' cyclone targets India, sparking evacuation of over 800000 people

Meanwhile, an IMD weather forecast, heavy rains will hit North Odisha, Sub-Himalayan West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, and Meghalaya on Saturday.

According to AccuWeather, Fani is now classified as an "extremely severe cyclonic storm", with winds equal to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic or East Pacific oceans.

Officials fear for the Shree Jagannath temple as the storm heads towards Puri.

The Eastern Command of Indian Navy is all set to carry out rescue and relief operations along the coasts of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

Meanwhile, the severe cyclonic storm Fani that is expected to ravage the coasts has triggered country-wide panic which has led the Indian Railways to cancel 81 trains including three in the Northeast.

Naveen Patnaik, chief minister of Odisha, said his state was "fully prepared to tackle the cyclone", but appealed to "the children, women, old and disabled" to be the first to evacuate.

Villagers of Chandrabhaga fishing village arrive to take shelter at a government run school building after they were evacuated.

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India Met Department (IMD) has notified a "cyclone warning" for Odisha, West Bengal and North Andhra Pradesh coasts (Srikakulam, Vijayanagarm and Visakhapatnam) today i.e. on 2nd May 2019. Most model predictions suggest landfall on the Odisha coast increasing the risk of severe storm surge, very strong winds, heavy rainfall and localised flooding.

The cyclonic storm "Fani" is expected to aggravate further to "extremely severe" by Tuesday mid-night, causing light to heavy rainfall in Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha till Thursday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) cautioned on Tuesday evening. It is expected to cross Odisha coast near Satpada and Balukhand area in Puri district on May 3 evening, according to Skymetweather.

Tropical Cyclone Fani, brewing in the Bay of Bengal some 450 kilometres offshore and moving westwards, is expected to make landfall on Friday afternoon near the Hindu holy town of Puri.

The NDRF has also put 32 teams equipped with boats, tree cutters, medical supplies, telecoms gear and other equipment on standby.

"It is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours". The states of Odisha and West Bengal are forecast to see 200-400 millimetres of rain through the duration of the event. It has also asked for evacuation of people from coastal areas and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic. Those who are out in the deep sea are advised to return to the coasts, said an official.

Personnel of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service have been deployed in vulnerable areas to assist the administration, an official said.

The Indian government has issued warnings to local residents in the country and is in the process of evacuating some 800,000 people.


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