Bengal braces for Fani

Photo provided by NASA shows a satellite view of Cyclone Fani.

The West Bengal government has taken elaborate precautionary measures to face cyclone Fani which is expected to make a landfall in Odisha coast on Friday, while also affecting the coastal districts of the state.

The state government has sounded an alert in the coastal districts and asked tourists to leave such areas to safety. Fishermen have been instructed not to venture out into the sea and those who are currently in mid-sea have been asked to return.

As the cyclone is likely to cause heavy rainfall in Kolkata, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has taken precautionary measures.

"All the pumping stations in the city have been alerted and residents of old buildings which are vulnerable to heavy rain have been requested to shift to other places till the calamity is over," said Firhad Hakimm, the Mayor of Kolkata.

The South Eastern Railway has cancelled 43 Puri-bound trains from Howrah station scheduled to depart in the next two days.

According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani will gradually weaken after making landfall in Odisha on Friday and will enter West Bengal as a severe cyclonic storm.

"After the landfall the system is very likely to continue to move north-northwestwards, weaken gradually and enter into West Bengal as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed of 90-100 Km per hour gusting to 115 km per hours," stated a release by IMD.

It adds that there will be extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places in Kolkata, East and West Medinipur, Jhargram, North and South 24 Paraganas districts, and several districts of Gangetic West Bengal, Howrah and Hooghly.

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