The landfall process of the extremely severe cyclone Fani began on Friday morning with strong winds and rain hitting Puri district in Odisha. Strong winds have also hit Bhubaneswar.
"ESCS FANI about 25 km SSW of Puri at 0830 IST. To cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur & Chandbali close to Puri during 0800-1100 IST. Landfall started at 0800 hrs IST. Part of eye lies over land at 0830. Entire process of eye entering into land will be completed in next 2 hrs," the India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted.
In a subsequent tweet it said, "Current wind speed of the cyclone is 175-185 kmph gusting to 195 kmph. Puri reported maximum sustained wind speed of 142 kmph gusting to 174 kmph at 7.30 hours today."
In the wake of the cyclonic storm, the Odisha administration has evacuated over 11 lakh people from the vulnerable districts since Thursday. More than 3 lakh people have been evacuated from Ganjam district alone, followed by 1.3 lakh from Puri district where landfall is expected. About 5000 kitchens are operating to serve people in shelters.
The IMD has warned of a storm surge of about 1.5 metres which may inundate low-lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, and Jagatsinghpur districts at the time of landfall. The government said that 10,000 villages and 52 towns located in nine districts in Odisha will be affected.
The cyclonic storm is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, south of Puri during forenoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)