Bubaneswar, May 3: Cyclone Fani may have weakened to a 'severe' storm but its impact was such that a glass wall at the KIIT hostel in Bhubaneswar shattered as a result of gusty winds.
Cyclone Fani wrecked many parts of Odisha. Continuous downpour and wind has uprooted many trees, telecom towers, and electric poles in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Khurda, Puri and other parts of coastal areas of the state. The roof of Bhubaneswar Railway station has been blown away. The roof of recently renovated Kalinga Stadium has also been damaged. Though the wind speed is slowly decreasing in Khurda area, rains are likely to continue.
Water-logging has been witnessed in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack, while communication in Puri has totally broken down. Bhubaneswar Railway Station and Biju Patnaik International Airport have been also damaged. The area along Puri is witnessing strong winds. Large areas in Puri and other places were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. Several trees were uprooted and thatched structures destroyed at some places including Bhubaneswar.
Road communication was disrupted at many places and power connection snapped. Heavy rains still continued in many parts of coastal Odisha. All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight, Kolkata airport will be shut between 3 pm today and till 8 am on Saturday. A total of 140 trains including 83 passenger trains have been cancelled so far. DIG of the Indian Coast Guard MA Warsi said while the speed of the wind as the cyclone hit Odisha was more than 190 kmph, no casualties been noted by the Coast Guard yet. "The weather conditions are still bad, there is heavy rainfall and strong movement of wind in Odisha," Warsi said.
“Once in West Bengal, it will move in the north-northeast direction and we are continuously monitoring it. IMD Kolkata has informed us that we will see the effect of Fani till the evening. They have also predicted that West Bengal will see a wind speed of 90-100 kmph,” he added. Moderate rainfall is expected at most places, heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places over coastal Odisha and adjoining districts of interior parts of the state on Friday, a senior weather official said.
Most places in Odisha is likely to receive light to moderate rains on Saturday with heavy to very heavy rainfall occurring at isolated places in Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts, he added. Cyclone Fani, the strongest storm to hit India since 2014, is weakening after barreling into Odisha, the chief of the state-run India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Heavy rains, along with strong winds, will continue throughout the day in Odisha, where more than a million people have been evacuated, K J Ramesh, Director General of the IMD said. "After making landfall this morning, cyclone Fani has started weakening and it's likely to enter Bangladesh by tomorrow evening," he said. "No cyclone ever had such a long duration in April."
Puri, Khurda, Bhubaneswar and Jagatsinghpur districts in Odisha are witnessing extremely heavy rainfall in wake of Cyclone Fani. Extensive damage to structure of AIIMS Bhubaneswar were reported due to Cyclone Fani. All patients, staff, students are, however, safe. Many water tanks have been blown off, lighting poles uprooted and air conditioners damaged. "We have enough supplies, ready to support the state," said Preeti Sudan, Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Wildlife sanctuaries such as Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, Balukhanda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuaries were all hit by the storm. Food was being distributed at cyclone shelter set up at Sea Aquarium in Paradip
The cyclone very likely to move further north-northeastwards and emerge into Bangladesh on May 4 evening as a cyclonic storm, the Regional weather officials said.
Earlier, the Odisha Government had evacuated lakhs of people from the coastal areas to camps on higher grounds. At least 14 districts are in the path of the Cyclone Fani. People have been evacuated from Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Naygarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar which are expected to be badly impacted by the storm. Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours. More than three lakh people were evacuated from Ganjam and 1.3 lakh in Puri. About 5000 kitchens have started operating to serve people in the shelters.
Meanwhile, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country's biggest fuel retailer, said it has made arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supply of petrol, diesel, LPG and jet fuel in Odisha and West Bengal that faced a category-4 cyclone. Storm surge of about 0.5 to 1 meter height above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak Districts of Odisha during next 12 hours. (UNI)