Tropical Cyclone Fani makes landfall

Dark clouds loom over locals standing at a beach in Puri district of eastern Odisha state India

STRDark clouds loom over locals standing at a beach in Puri district of eastern Odisha state India

Tropical cyclone Fani, the most severe storm to hit the Indian subcontinent in two decades, has made landfall on the coast of the eastern state of Odisha, where officials are still trying to evacuate the homes of the most vulnerable one-million people in its path. Authorities are poised for the worst, as winds are predicted to reach over 200 kph.

"More than a million people have been moved to shelters in the eastern Indian state of Odisha alone", Pathak says. "160 people have been injured and admitted to hospital for treatment". Boundary walls of houses around us have collapsed, trees have been uprooted.

The roof of the hostel building at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, was blown away. Local airports have been shut, while train lines and roads were closed.

Around 220 trains on the Howrah-Chennai route have been cancelled, an East Coast Railway official said.

Virat Kohli wrote, "Praying for everyone affected by #CycloneFani".

A netizen shared a video of sea turtles returning to the sea after the cyclone.

As the reports of telecom connectivity being disrupted are coming in after cyclone Fani made landfall in Orissa, telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone Idea have announced that they are well prepared to deal with the impact of the cyclone.

The strongest storm to hit India in five years is heading towards Bangladesh, where authorities have ordered 2.1 million people to evacuate. "No cyclone ever had such a long duration in April". "Energy infrastructure has been completely destroyed".

"The effects of that storm mean we are likely to see significant snowfall and high winds on the mountain", expedition company Climbing the Seven Summits wrote on its blog. It could take up to three days to restore power supply completely in Bhubaneswar.

Nikhil Kumar, CNN's New Delhi Bureau Chief said: "There are thousands of personnel involved".

He said since the cyclone was still passing through Odisha, it will take time to make an assessment of the damage. There have been no casualties so far, according to the federal disaster management body.

The evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres where free cooked food is being served to them, he said. "We have kept about 15,000 electric poles ready to replace the damaged ones", special relief commissioner (SRC) Bishunupada Sethi said.

The storm is now lying close to Arambagh in Hooghly district, and is 40 km west of Kolkata.

Parts of Kolkata and the suburbs also received moderate to heavy rainfall since Friday afternoon. Traffic snarls were reported from different places in the city.

"Have cancelled my rallies for the next 48 hours because of what could be an impending disaster #CyclonicStormFANI We are monitoring the situation 24x7 and doing all it takes".

Odisha and West Bengal, which are expected to bear the brunt of the storm, are forecast to get heavy showers on Friday and Saturday, according to the weather office.

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