Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for the storm.
Cyclone Fani is expected to make landfall in Odisha on Friday. Authorities have started operations to rescue over 8,00,000 from the low lying coastal areas of the state. The extremely severe storm has already moved closer to the east coast. According to India Meteorological Department (IMD)’s latest information, at the moment the cyclone is over West Central Bay of Bengal, nearly 430 km south-southwest of Puri and 225 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall in Odisha with a wind speed of 170-180 kmph and gusting up to 200 kmph, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi told PTI. People have been shifted to safer places like cyclone centres, schools, colleges and other institutes. It is perhaps the largest ever evacuation process in the nation.
Among places that are likely to face the brunt of cyclone in Odisha are Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Khurda, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Gajapati, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjha. The cyclone may also impact Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik reviewed the preparedness last evening and focussed on the need to give special attention to children, pregnant women, children, elderly people and differently-abled persons. Free kitchens have also been set up to provide cooked food to the evacuees. More than one lakh dry food packets are ready for air dropping that may be affected by the cyclone.