The Cyclone Fani brewing over the Bay of Bengal hit the coast of Odisha's Puri district on Friday 8 am. With its extreme nature, Fani is one of the strongest cyclones that has hit India and Bangladesh in two decades.
Several videos have gone viral on the internet shows the terrible impact the cyclone had on the coastal Odisha. Visibility has been affected in many areas due to the storm. Most of the thatched houses have been destroyed in the cyclone.
The capital city of Bhubaneswar witnessed extreme downpours as a result of the post-Fani impact. Approaching with strong winds and heavy rains the extreme storm has uprooted many trees and destroyed several homes in the state. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the winds hit the coast at a speed of 150 to 175 km per hour and even higher at some places. The eye of the cyclone was of 30 km diameter.
The heavy rains had battered the coastal areas including the temple city Puri, Bhubaneswar, Bhadrak and Ganjam, Khurda, Gajapati, Jagatsinghpur where the region is witnessing a high-speed wind and heavy downpour. The government had evacuated more than 11.5 lakh people from the disaster-prone areas to temporary safety shelters. A total of 10,000 villages and 52 towns were hit by Fani.
The meteorological department said that the landfall was completed by 11 am and is moving towards West Bengal. However, two people are reported to be dead in Odisha after the cyclone slammed the state. "I can confirm two deaths for now. One old man in one of the shelters died because of (a) heart attack. Another person went out in the storm despite our warnings and died because a tree fell on him," said Bishnupada Sethi, Odisha state special relief commissioner, reports AFP.
Due to the tropical cyclonic storm, the airport in the state has been shut down cancelling all flight operations. The Indian railways also cancelled 157 trains fearing the high impact of the Cyclone Fani.
Fani is the strongest cyclonic storm witnessed by Odisha in two decades since the 1999 Super Cyclone that had claimed left the lives of nearly 10,000 people. The IMD said that Fani is the first cyclonic storm of such severity in India's oceanic neighbourhood in 43 years.