Odisha staring at extremely severe cyclone as Fani storms closer

Odisha staring at extremely severe cyclone as Fani storms closer

Odisha staring at extremely severe cyclone as Fani storms closer

Bhubaneswar: In rare phenomena for Odisha, a severe cyclonic storm called Fani (pronounced as ‘Foni’) formed over Southeast & adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal is likely to hit the coast of the eastern State on May 3 evening.

Usually, cyclone hit Odisha coast during October or November. Last cyclonic storm Titli had hit Odisha coast in October 2018. But, this time, in May, the coastal state is likely to face an extreme severe cyclone Fani. Earlier, cyclonic storm had affected Odisha during May in the years 1893, 1914, 1917, 1982 and 1989. However, for the first time, such an extreme severe cyclone with an intensity over 175 to 185 kmph (kilometers per hour) is heading towards Odisha coast.    

Local weather experts blamed climate change and global warming for the upcoming natural disaster. “Three factors responsible for formation of a cyclonic storm one is above sea level temperature. If the above sea temperature became 26 degrees Celsius, it helps on formation of low pressure. But, now the temperature is above 31 to 32 degrees C,” said former director of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, Sarat Sahu.

Second factor is the air pressure, which is favorable in this month of May, he said. High pressure around the system helps to form the curve while the third condition is the wind speed. “If the wind speed difference between 1.5 km and 12 km is more, it will help the cyclone to increase its intensity,” Sahu said.  All the three factors are favoring the cyclone and its intensity, the former director added.

The cyclonic storm is now lies at about 760 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) and 560 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and about 660 km north-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), said India Meteorological Department (IMD).

It is very likely to intensify further into an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 6 hours and then, it will move northwestwards till May 1 evening and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around on May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph, the Met said.

Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagtsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts of Odisha are likely to be affected by the storm.   

It will trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in the south and east coastal districts while there will be isolated heavy rainfall at one or two places in the northern districts of the state.

According to the ADG of IMD Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, the impact of this cyclonic storm in Odisha will be more than that of ‘Titli’, which had brought high speed winds and rainfall after making landfall at Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh last October.

As the condition of the sea will be rough, the weatherman advised fishermen not to venture into sea from tomorrow onwards.

How Fani was named

World Meteorological Organization is usually the apex body deciding the names. The names are given by the IMD and the first tropical cyclone to be named was Onil, in 2004. It was a name given by Bangladesh. Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand were the eight countries of the region that put together 64 names, giving eight names each. These are the names assigned sequentially whenever there’s a cyclonic storm – the latest one being ‘Fani’, a name contributed by Bangladesh.

Odisha’s preparedness

Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha conducted a meeting to review with Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi and other senior officials through video-conferencing.

Sethi said that the district administrations of coastal districts will begin evacuating people from May 2 onwards in view of the approaching Cyclone Fani.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also tweeted, “Reviewed SRC’s preparedness as cyclone Fani has turned course to pass through the coast of Odisha. Also discussed with senior officials on the preparedness of the field officials. Administration is fully geared up to handle the situation.”

As many 879 cyclone shelters are all stocked up and ready. All food and shelter arrangements for the people have been done. The government has put 20 Odisha Disaster Repeat Action Force (ODRAF) units, 335 fire services and 12 NDRF units on ready. The Centre has released Rs 340 crore advance funds to Odisha.

Pic: NDRF rescue teams from Munduli base for Jagatsinghpur and Bhadrak.


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