Odisha braces for Cyclone Fani

Fani can even worsen into an "extremely severe cyclone" by tomorrow, prompting the government to put the National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard on high alert, a report said citing officials.

It is to be noted that the Odisha government has declared holiday at schools and colleges in the state on Tuesday due to the oncoming cyclonic storm.

The state is bracing for a severe cyclonic storm that is expected to cross its coast near Satapada in Puri district on 3 May afternoon with wind speed of 175-185 kmph.

Heavy rainfall warning has been issued for several states that share the coastline of the Bay of Bengal, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh within 24 hours.

Speaking to media persons, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Surendra Kumar said that the constitutional authority has chose to change the locations of two of the strong rooms where the EVMs have been kept after the conclusion of 4-phase elections in the state.

As it packed power, the Odisha Government alerted all districts while issuing special instructions to 14 coastal and interior districts to remain vigilant. The CEO said that Model code of conduct has been lifted in 11 coastal and adjoining districts to expedite relief, rescue and restoration works.

"It is very likely to intensify further into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours".

"The collectors have been asked to start evacuations from the morning of May 2 from the low lying areas and vulnerable locations of the coastal areas".

Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha held a National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting again on Tuesday to take stock of the situation, and reviewed the preparedness in the affected states, according to an official statement.

The NDRF is deploying 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5) for prepositioning.

During the meeting, Padhi sought two helicopters be stationed in a state for emergency and additional NDRF personnel for rescue and relief operation.

The Navy was ordered on standby Wednesday and fishermen in the Bay of Bengal have been warned to stay out of threatened areas, Agence France-Presse reported.

Very heavy falls above 150 mm can be expected at some places in the Eastern, Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central, Southern, Western and North-western provinces and in the Mannar district while heavy falls upto about 100 mm will also occur at other places.