Thousands of people were being evacuated in the coastal areas of India’s eastern state of Odisha on Thursday as a cyclone approaches the region.
“Cyclone Fani was heading towards the Odisha coast with wind speeds of 180 to 200 kilometres per hour and was expected to make landfall near the seaside resort of Puri on Friday,’’ the Indian Meteorological Department said.
The “extremely severe cyclonic storm” was currently located over the Bay of Bengal near the coast of southern Andhra Pradesh state and was moving northwards at a speed of five to six kilometres per hour.
“The cyclone was expected to impact several districts in Odisha and no fewer than 800,000 people were being evacuated,’’ Odisha relief commissioner, Bishnupada Sethi, said.
Personnel from the Odisha and federal disaster management rapid action teams, fire services and coast guard have deployed to help the local administrations in the evacuation efforts.
“The Indian Navy and Air Force had been put on high alert,’’ NDTV news channel reported.
Tidal surges of up to 1.5 metres are expected and fishermen had been told not to venture out to sea.
“All schools and colleges in the area have been closed for three days,’’ NDTV news channel reported.
Indian Railways has cancelled over 100 trains scheduled to run in the region after midnight.
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