Cyclone Fani to make landfall between 12 pm-2 pm tomorrow, school and colleges in Odisha to remain shut

Cyclone Fani is expected to make landfall between 12 pm to 2 pm on Friday. Earlier, it was expected to hit the Odisha coast around 5 pm. Informing about the latest update, Odisha State Disaster Management Authority spokesperson Sangram Mohapatra said that all colleges and soft business establishments would remain shut tomorrow as Cyclone Fani is now expected to make landfall between 12-2pm. The Centre and state governments are taking precautionary measures to minimize the damage. Earlier in the day, the civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said airlines have been requested to offer assistance in rescue and relief operations. Fani is expected to hit states on the eastern coast such as West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Districts that are expected to bear the brunt of Cyclone Fani in Odisha are Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Khurda, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Gajapati, Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar. The operations to evacuate people from low-lying areas in coastal Odisha are underway. Reports suggest that over 11.5 lakh people in low lying areas of 13 districts are being shifted to shelters and other safe houses. So far, around 3 lakh people have been evacuated to safer places. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre, Fani is the most severe storm since the super cyclone of 1999 that claimed close to 10,000 lives. Prime Minister Narendra Modi today chaired a high-level meeting to review preparedness for Cyclone Fani. He was briefed on the likely path of the cyclone, and the ongoing precautionary and preparatory measures being undertaken. As per the latest bulletin by IMD, Fani lay centered over west-central Bay of Bengal about 320 km south-southwest of Puri, Odisha. The government has put Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard on high alert to meet any eventuality. Personnel of National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, and fire service have also been deployed in vulnerable areas to assist the administration in carrying out the evacuation process.