Odisha prepares to face Cyclone Fani

Gopalpur beach, in Ganjam (PTI File Photo)

The Odisha government on Monday began preparations to face Cyclone Fani which currently centres deep inside the Bay of Bengal.

“We are fully prepared to tackle the cyclone,” state chief secretary A P Padhi told reporters after a high-level official meeting chaired by him.

Sources in the secretariat said, the chief secretary convened the meeting following a warning from the Union home ministry that Cyclone Fani may be heading towards Odisha coast after changing its course.

However, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) is yet to announce where and when the cyclone will have its landfall.

“The cyclonic storm currently centres around 840 km south-east of Chennai. It has already turned into a severe cyclonic storm and by Tuesday afternoon it is expected to become a very severe cyclonic storm. It is expected to head towards Odisha coast after changing its course on May 1. Right now it is very difficult to predict exactly when and where the cyclone will cross land.

"It is being monitored and analysed in every three hours. However, the wind speed may go up to 180 km per hour when the cyclone will have its landfall. The districts in Odisha coastline are expected to experience heavy wind and rainfall from May 2 onwards,” a weather office official said.

Padhi said National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams stationed in the state have already been alerted. “Twenty units of the ODRAF and 10 units of the NDRF are already functional in the state,” the senior official said.

The collectors of all coastal districts have already been alerted and have been asked to prepare their plans to handle the possible cyclone.

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