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Cyclone Fani to 'weaken further' in next 6 hours, lay centred over Bangladesh: IMD

After battering Odisha and West Bengal, Cyclone Fani has now reached Bangladesh on Saturday.

Cyclone Fani to 'weaken further' in next 6 hours, lay centred over Bangladesh: IMD
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NEW DELHI: The cyclonic storm `Fani` that wreak havoc in Odisha on Friday and West Bengal, has weakened into a deep depression and lay centred over Bangladesh, the IMD said on Saturday. It is expected to weaken further into a depression, the weather office said.

"The CS `FANI` over Gangetic West Bengal moved further east-northeastwards and weakened into a Deep Depression, lay centred at 08.30 hrs IST over Bangladesh near lat 23.6 deg N and long 88.8 deg E. It is very likely to move northeastwards, weaken further into a Depression during next 06 hrs," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a tweet.

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Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, claimed four more lives in Odisha's Jajpur on Saturday taking the death toll to 15.

Earlier this morning, one more death was reported in Odisha's Bhadrak.

Cyclone Fani reached Bangladesh on Saturday several hours after it unleashed a trail of massive destruction claiming several lives in Odisha from where it entered West Bengal late on Friday.

After entering West Bengal, Cyclone Fani lashed towns and cities including Digha, Haldia, Tajpur, Mandarmani, Sandehskhali, Contai, Diamond Harbour, Bankura, Sriniketan, Asansol, Dumdum and Alipore. 

Apart from Kharagpur and Kolkata, effects of the storm were also felt in Burdwan district. Trees were uprooted, power and telecom lines snapped, metal hoardings gave away as the storm swept through Bengal. However, no loss of life or any injury was reported from West Bengal so far. 

Parts of Kolkata and the suburbs also received moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon.

In the sea resort of Digha, the wind speed reached 70 kmph in some areas, in Frazerganj, the wind velocity was between 60 and 70 kmph. Kharagpur recorded 95 mm rainfall, which will continue for the next two to three hours.

The West Bengal administration switched off electricity to prevent any untoward incident as the storm passed through a particular point in the state. 

The cyclone, which crossed Odisha coast close to Puri coast between 8 AM and 10 AM on Friday with a maximum wind speed of around 175 Kmph, caused "huge damage" in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, and Khordha districts in the state.

On Friday, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik chaired a review meeting with the chief secretary as well as senior officers of the state.

Patnaik, while briefing media after the meeting, said over 12 lakh people had been evacuated in 24 hours to safer locations in the state. He also mentioned that officials would take stock of the situation at length once the cyclonic storm crosses Odisha.

PM Narendra Modi too spoke to the Odisha Chief Minister and assured full assistance from the Centre in restoring normalcy in the cyclone-hit state.  

(With Agency inputs)