Disaster response teams are on alert and fishermen have been advised not to sail as India braces for cyclone 'Fani', which raging in the Bay of Bengal, headed for the Odisha coast. Here are key points to know about the storm.
Fani (pronounced 'Foni)' was a 'severe cyclonic storm' Monday evening and could become an 'extremely severe cyclone' by Wednesday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Wind speed in a cyclonic storm is 80-90 km per hour and can reach up to 100 kmph. In an 'extremely severe cyclonic storm', the wind speed goes up to 170-180 kmph and could touch 195 kmph.
Fani is expected to impact Odisha's southern and coastal districts. The state's 880 cyclone centres, 20 units of ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force), 12 units of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and 335 fire units have been put on alert, NDTV quoted a government officer as saying.
Cyclones and storms regularly hit Odisha's coastline. A super cyclone in 1999 killed more than 15,000 people, mostly in Odisha, and affected 20 million others. Cyclone Phailin, which hit Odisha in October 2013, killed 21 people dead.
The National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard are coordinating with the governments of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. The states have advised fishermen not to venture into the sea and asking those away to return to the coast.
The India Meteorological Department has three-hour bulletins with latest forecast to states concerned. The Home Ministry is in touch with the state governments and the central agencies concerned.
Cyclones are named by various warning centres for ease of communication between forecasters and the public. Fani was named by Bangladesh.
The Indian Air Force and BrahMos Aerospace have put on hold the test-fire of the air-launched version of supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft, news agency ANI reported Monday. The air-launched version of the BrahMos was to be test-fired by the Air Force over southern India this week.