Evacuations Remain State Government's Priority As FANI Approaches Closer

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Bhubaneswar: As FANI approaches, by Wednesday night it will come within the radar of IMD Bhubaneswar station, which is at a distance of 400 kilometres from Gopalpur. Once the cyclone enters our territory it will be much easier to predict its course, timing and impact, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said.

"It is for certain that FANI will make a landfall at Puri on Friday afternoon. The IMD Bhubaneswar station will be providing much frequent updates as FANI approaches closer to Odisha coast," he said.

"Evacuation remains our priority. By Thursday evening the evacuation process will be ending as per current estimates. NDRF teams are working on war footing and if needed more teams will be requisitioned," Sethi said.

"Helicopters are on standby and at least 1 lakh packets of dry food will be kept in stock at a location in Bhubaneswar. If any area is cut-off, air-dropping will be immediately facilited," the SRC added.

As per the latest update, the cyclone was last seen 610 kilometres south southeast of Puri and its movement would be north northeastward, IMD Bhubaneswar Director, HR Biswas said.

"The maximum wind speed would be 170 to 180 kmph with gusts of 200 to 210 kmph. The warnings at all ports of Odisha have been upgraded to Signal No. 4. Besides, fishermen have been warned not to venture into the sea till May 4," Biswas added.

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Bishnupada Sethi, SRC, Odisha

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HR Biswas, Director, IMD, Bhubaneswar