PURI/KOLKATA: A high alert has been sounded in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in view of the severe cyclone storm Fani, which hit the coast of Odisha on Friday morning.
The relief and rescue teams belonging to the SDRF and NDRF and other state agencies have been asked to be on high alert mode and help all those affected by Cyclone Fani.
According to reports, the West Bengal government has sounded alert in the coastal areas and the state capital Kolkata. It has urged people to move to safer places.
In Andhra Pradesh too, a red alert has been issued for Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts.
Extremely severe cyclone storm cyclone Fani, which hit Odisha coast near Puri on Friday morning, triggered heavy rains in parts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, while gusty winds uprooted trees and electricity poles, the state officials said.
The cyclone moved close to north coastal Andhra before it made landfall in neighbouring Odisha.
Under its impact, gusty winds with speed reaching up to 140 kmph lashed the coastal area of Srikakulam district.
Srikakulam District Collector J Nivas said three houses were damaged due to the winds but there was no loss of life.
About 20,000 people were shifted to 126 relief camps in Srikakulam district, where seven 'mandals' (blocks) are likely to be affected by the cyclone.
A red alert was sounded in the district with authorities taking preventive measures to avoid loss of life and minimise property damages.
Nine National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed in the district.
The NDRF teams carried out relief operation in Kotturu Mandal of Srikakulam which received rain and experienced strong winds today after Cyclone Fani made a landfall in Odisha's Puri. )
Andhra Pradesh: Relief operation by NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) is underway in Kotturu Mandal of Srikakulam which received rain and experienced strong winds today. #CycloneFani has made a landfall in Odisha's Puri. (Pic source: NDRF) pic.twitter.com/gzTZUzWMHT
— ANI (@ANI) May 3, 2019
At least 13 Navy aircraft are at standby in Visakhapatnam to carry out damage assessment and relief distribution requirements, news agency ANI reported.
According to Real Time Governance Society (RTGS) officials in Amaravati, Srikakulam`s Kanchili 'mandal` received the highest rainfall of 19 cm since Thursday.
The heavy rains could also cause Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers to overflow leading to floods in the region, officials said.
Heavy downpours also lashed Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, two other districts in the north coastal Andhra, since Thursday.
The Indian Railways have cancelled about 100 trains between Visakhapatnam and Howrah on Friday and Saturday.
Authorities have also cancelled 22 flights from Visakhapatnam Airport.
Extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' made landfall in Puri on Odisha coast Friday morning, triggering heavy rainfall coupled with high-velocity winds with speed of 175 kmph in vast areas.
The cyclonic system, whose eye is around 28 km, is moving at around 30 kmph, Biswas said, adding the process of landfall is expected to be complete around 11 AM.
Puri and neighbouring areas are experiencing wind with a speed of 175 kilometres per hour which may go up to 200 kmph.
Under the impact of the cyclone, a high-velocity wind is sweeping across several coastal districts like Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Gajapati, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said.
Nearly 11 lakh people have been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal district, he said, adding the evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres.
No casualty has so far been reported from any part of the state, Sethi said adding the government is fully prepared to deal with any eventuality.
After the landfall, the system is passing through Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore before entering West Bengal, Sethi said, adding the state capital of Bhubaneswar is likely to be hit by high-velocity wind of around 140 kmph.
(With Agency input)