Cyclone Fani to make landfall in Odishatext_fields
Bhubaneshwar: At least one million people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours from the vulnerable districts in Odisha ahead of cyclone Fani's landfall in the state on Friday, officials said.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the south of Puri.
As of 8 a.m., the diameter of the storm's eye was 30 km and was moving at a speed of 18 kmph, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).
It is very likely to cross between Gopalpur and Chandabali close to Puri with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph in the Friday forenoon, the IMD said.
The Indian Navy warships -- Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt -- are on stand-by with relief materials and medical teams.
Other naval vessels are also on stand-by at Vishakhapattanam. Naval divers teams have moved to Odisha from Vishakhapattanam.
Meanwhile, the cities of Puri, Paradip, Bhubaneswar, Gopalpur experienced light to moderate rain since Thursday night and early Friday morning.
Strong winds measuring up to 174 kmph lashed Chilika, leading to the uprooting of trees.
The highest number of people -- 3 lakh -- were evacuated from Ganjam district while 1.3 lakh others from Puri district, said an official from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office.
About 10,000 villages and 52 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.
The state government has advised people not to step out of their houses.
As a precautionary measure, all shops, business establishments, private and government offices will remain closed in 11 coastal districts.
Flight operations were suspended in Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik Airport from Friday midnight.