Cyclone Fani, the most severe storm since the super cyclone of 1999 in Odisha, made its landfall in Odisha’s Puri on Friday.
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and other disaster management agencies are on stand-by.
Here are LIVE updates:
10:40 am: After landfall, cyclone Fani is very likely to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and emerge into Gangetic West Bengal as a severed cyclonic storm and move to Bangladesh after weakening, the IMD said.
10:30 am: West Bengal: Cyclone Fani to hit coastal areas of West Bengal. State administration on high alert. CM Mamata Banerjee has cancelled her election rallies preempting the disaster.
09:35 am: HR Biswas, Director, Met Dept, Bhubaneswar said, “Extremely severe cyclone Fani landfall started at 8 am. Some of the portion of the eye has already entered land area. It’ll take 2 more hours to complete landfall process. Landfall position is close to Puri. It’ll continue upto 10.30 am.”
09:28 am: Cyclone Fani hits Odisha.
09:20 am: Rain and strong winds hit Paradip, Odisha.
“Landfall started at 0800 hrs IST (0230 GMT). Part of eye lies over land at 0830. Entire process of eye entering into land will be completed in next 2 hrs.”
09:15 am: Andhra Pradesh: Strong winds hit Visakhapatnam as Cyclone Fani makes landfall in Odisha’s Puri.
09:06 am: Cyclone Fani makes landfall in Odisha’s Puri.
08:53 am: An official from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office said, “The highest number of people — 3 lakh — was evacuated from Ganjam district while 1.3 lakh others from Puri district.”
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting with top officials to review preparations for the Cyclone Fani.
More than 1 million people have been evacuated from vulnerable districts in last 24 hours in Odisha.
The Home Ministry has set up a control room and anyone who needs assistance or updates can call on the helpline 1938.
All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight. Kolkata airport will be shut between 09:30 pm on Friday till 6 pm on Saturday.
The districts which are in the path of the Cyclone Fani are Puri, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Naygarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore.
Srikakulam and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh also received heavy rain.
The East Coast Railway has cancelled over 147 trains till Saturday. Three special trains were run from Puri to Howrah and Shalimar in West Bengal on Thursday to facilitate the evacuation of tourists.