Impact of FANI likely to be more severe than TITLI

Bhubaneswar: The impact of cyclonic storm FANI is likely to be much more severe than the previous cyclone TITLI, said Bhubaneswar MeT Director HR Biswas.

The anticipated landfall in Puri district is expected to cause maximum damage in coastal Odisha as compared to TITLI, which had hit the Odisha-Andhra coast last year during Dussehra and devastated southern Odisha districts.

The cyclone TITLI had claimed at least 60 lives. Gajapati district was the worst affected in the tropical storm.

The cyclonic storm FANI has intensified into very severe cyclonic storm over westcentral and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal. It moved northwestwards with a speed of 14 kmph and lay centrered at 8.30 am on May 1 over westcentral Bay of Bengal about 660 km south-southwest of Puri and 400 km south-southeast of Visakhapatnam. It is very likely to move northwestwards during next 12 hours and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali during May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph, the IMD said in a bulletin.

In view of the extremely severe cyclonic storm, the Indian Navy has stationed two ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai carrying expert divers and doctors, an official said. Aircraft of the Indian Navy are also kept ready at two locations for emergency services.

The Indian Air Force has also been alerted for possible severity of the cyclone, said Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi.

Meanwhile, the State government has appointed 12 IAS officers and 11 IPS officers for relief and rescue operations. Total 28 NDRF teams, 20 ODRAF units and other Fire Services units are being dispatched to areas on a priority basis. The leaves of doctors and employees in Health as well as the Energy departments have been cancelled fearing casualties and damage from the cyclonic storm in the coastal districts.

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