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'Fani' to hit Puri on Friday with speed of about 175 kmph: JTWC

ANI | Updated: May 01, 2019 18:02 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], May 1 (ANI): Cyclonic storm 'Fani' is expected to make a landfall near Balukhand village in Puri district of Odisha, where a yellow alert is in place, on Friday afternoon with a speed of about 175 kmph, Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said Wednesday.
"The wind speed before the 'Fani' makes landfall would be about 175 kmph and would pass through Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack (Niali), Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj in Odisha before turning towards West Bengal," JTWC bulletin said.
As per a forecast bulletin by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), 'Fani' moved northwestwards with a speed of about 10 kmph in last six hours and lay centred about 680 km south-southwest of Puri and 430 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam.
The state government has cancelled all leaves of doctors and health staff up to May 15 to deal with any possible situation. Those who are on leave have been asked to report back to respective headquarters by Wednesday evening.
All state universities and colleges coming under the administrative control of Higher Education Department and located at the 11 affected coastal districts -- Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj -- will remain closed from Thursday to Saturday.
All of the teaching, non-teaching and administrative staff of the universities and colleges will attend the office to conduct their normal activities other than teaching and examination.
Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba, meanwhile, said that naval forces are ready to tackle with the cyclone. He said: "We are prepared for the cyclone. Eastern Naval Command at Visakhapatnam is ready, all necessary measures have been taken. In coordination with state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, we are ready for the cyclone."
The Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday lifted the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct in the 11 coastal districts of Odisha to facilitate the speedy rescue, relief and restoration activities.
The EC has approved shifting of polled EVMs in two districts Jagatsinghpur and Gajapati. Entire shifting process will be conducted in the presence of candidates and the entire process will be video-graphed, Odisha Chief Electoral Officer Surendra Kumar said.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has said that it is on high alert to face any eventuality which may arise due to 'Fani'.
"A total of 47 flood rescue and relief teams have been pre-positioned in the 25 vulnerable/coastal areas of West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala to meet any eventuality," the NDRF said in a press note.
Railway has arranged special patrolling and break-down and relief vans are on alert for the areas which may get affected by 'Fani'.
East Coast Railway has issued an advisory to cancel or regulate trains which might get affected due to the cyclone.
The IMD said, "It is very likely to move northwestwards during next 12 hours and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha coast near Satapada, Puri district, on Friday afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph."
'Fani' is very likely to intensify further into an "extremely severe cyclonic storm" during the next 12 hours, the IMD had earlier said.
IMD has also issued a moderate to heavy rainfall warning for the states such as Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal for May 2 and 3. It has also advised total suspension of fishing operations, evacuation from coastal areas and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic in the areas which are going to be affected. (ANI)

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