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Train, flight services to be hit as cyclone Fani nears Odisha coast

81 trains cancelled, two others diverted; no flight cancellations yet; state govt asks all inbound tourists to exit Puri by May 2

BS Reporters  |  Bhubaneswar 

Cyclone Mekunu
Representative Image of a cyclone-hit beach in Odisha | Photo: PTI

The severe cyclonic storm Fani, which is advancing towards the coast, is likely to stall essential services such as movement of trains, flight operations and tourism.

As many as 81 trains have been cancelled with two others diverted because of the imminent tropical storm to batter the coast of Puri.

Airline operators have hitherto not announced any cancellation of flights, S C Hota, director of International Airport, Bhubaneswar said.

"We have taken a series of meetings with all the stakeholders. Elaborate arrangements have been made so that any damage due to the can be minimised", said Hota.

Tourism sector has already felt the pangs with the government advising all inbound tourists to exit Puri by May 2. All the hotels in Puri have also been asked to vacate their guests.

The tropical is to make landfall on Friday near Puri, a pilgrim town which receives an enormous congregation of tourists for its iconic Jagannnath Temple and beach. The government has issued advisories to tourists to scrap or defer their travel plans to other coastal districts likely to be affected by the

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the cyclone preparedness at state secretariat this evening. Patnaik said directed the administration to ensure100 percent evacuation in the vulnerable areas. He emphasised on early restoration of power water supply and road communication in the affected areas. Evacuation and free kitchen services are to start from tomorrow.

In its latest bulletin, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded yellow alert for The extremely severe cyclonic storm which lays over Bay of Bengal, as per the bulletin, is at about 610 kilometers (kms) south-southwest of Puri and 360 kms south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam.

As is set to make a landfall on May 3, coastal districts like Ganjam, Puri , Khurda, Cuttack and Jagatsinghpur may witness extremely heavy rainfall with wind speed of around 175-200 km/hour.

The Navy, Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) are ready for relief and rescue operations.

To streamline rescue and relief operations, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has lifted the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) in 11 coastal districts of Odisha.

Ports in Odisha have been directed by IMD to replace distance warning signal - two (DW-II) with LW-IV (local bad weather signal).

For Adani Group controlled Dhamra port, the thrust is on safety of port infrastructure across material handling systems, railway system, marine system including evacuation of vessels, all areas of port operations, project sites and LNG sites. The port authorities are also readying back up facilities for electrical installation and DG (diesel generator) sets in event of total and continued power failure.

First Published: Wed, May 01 2019. 20:05 IST