Government plans to evacuate 8 lakh people as cyclone nears coast in Odisha

Bhubhaneshwar | Reports have surfaced that the government is all geared up for the Cyclone Fani that is likely to hit Puri in Odisha by tomorrow afternoon.

The cyclone has intensified into an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ with wind speed likely to hit 200 kmph at the time of landfall.

According to the latest forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JWTC), Fani is the most severe cyclonic storm since the super cyclone of 1999 that devastated large parts of the state.

The storm is currently over the Bay of Bengal about 500 km southwest of Puri and moving towards the coast at a speed of 6 km/hr, the IMD said in its weather bulletin.

About 800,000 people were expected to be evacuated from low-lying areas of 14 districts in Odisha to cyclone shelters, safer schools and college buildings, a government statement said.

India will use boats, buses and trains to evacuate these 800,000 people along its east coast.

Around 880 shelters have been set up.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has reviewed the situations with top officials and more operations are underway and has advised them to personally oversee the situation.

Schools and other operations have been shut for officially three days.

Around 43 trains have been cancelled which had Howrah and Puri in their route.

Cyclone ‘Fani’ is likely to be more severe than the Cyclone ‘Titli’ which had hit the south last year and had 60 victims.

Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan assured the relief fund,”Central govt has announced Rs 340 crore as emergency relief fund”.

The Indian Navy, Indian Air Force and National Disaster Response Force(NDRF), a state disaster response team have been alerted.

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