According to the official sources, Cyclone ‘Fani’ barrelled through Odisha on Friday, unleashing copious rain and windstorm that gusted up to 175 kmph, killing at least eight people, blowing away thatched houses, and swamping towns and villages. At least eight people have been reported dead so far, adding information was still awaited from many areas.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said Cyclone Fani is likely to continue to move north-northeastwards over the next 12 hours and emerge over Gangetic West Bengal with a wind speed of 80-90 kmph gusting to 105 kmph by early morning of May 4.
He added, “Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani over coastal Odisha moved north-northeastwards at 20 kmph in the last 6 hours and weakened into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and lay centered at 2030 hrs over Coastal Odisha about 110 km southwest of Midnapore(West Bengal),80 km southwest of Digha and 210 km southwest of Kolkata,” As heavy rains lashed several parts of West Bengal, a number of flights were cancelled from Kolkata and Bhubaneswar airports. Paradip and Gopalpur ports in Odisha were also closed as precautionary measures.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ or the ‘Hood of Snake’ made landfall around 8 am in Puri, with roaring winds flattening huts, enveloping the pilgrim town in sheets of rain, and submerging homes.