News Frontliner Web Desk, 3 May 2019: At the time of writing this article, cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ (pronounced Foni) is situated at about 300 km southwest of Kolkata and is likely to enter West Bengal with a wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph; will hit Kolkata by midnight.
The cyclonic storm Fani made a landfall in Puri on Odisha coast around 8 am today, triggering heavy rainfall coupled with high velocity winds with speed reaching to a maximum of 175 kmph in vast areas. Large areas in Puri and other places got submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coastal belt of the state. There has been reports of extensive damage to kuchha houses, old buildings and temporary shops in Puri town and adjoining areas.
Bhubaneshwar has also been badly hit. Several trees were uprooted, thatched structures destroyed, Bhubaneswar airport building has been affected, extensive damage to structure of AIIMS Bhubaneswar reported extensive damage.
Wildlife sanctuaries such as Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, Balukhanda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan Zoological Park and Bhitarakanika Wildlife Sanctuaries were all badly hit by the storm.
Several videos showing the damage in Bhubaneshwar AIIMS have already went viral in social media.
Amidst destruction, a baby born at 11:03 am today at a railway hospital in Mancheswar, barely five km from the Odisha capital Bhubaneswar, has been named Fani by her parent.
All flights to and from Bhubaneswar remain cancelled on Friday.
On account of the severe cyclonic storm Fani that hit Odisha, the National Testing Agency (NTA) is likely to change examination date in Odisha for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2019 scheduled to be held on th May throughout the country. However no official confirmition is avaiable till now.
Three people have already been killed in separate incidents across Odisha coast. A teenager was killed when a tree came crashing down on him at a place within Sakhigopal police station area limits in Puri district. Flying debris from a concrete structure hit a woman in Nayagarh district when she had gone to fetch water, killing her. In Debendranarayanpur village in Kendrapara district, a 65-year-old woman died after suspected heart attack at a cyclone centre.
Heavy rainfall has already started in Kolkata and districts of Bengal. Kolkata airport will remain shut till 8 am on Saturday. More than 200 flights from Kolkata has been canceled. 463 Soyuth-eastern railway trains have been canceled today.
Meanwhile, the Assam government has sounded an alert in all districts of the state following a warning by the Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) at Guwahati that Cyclone Fani will lash Assam and other parts of the northeastern region for two days starting Saturday early hours. RMC has predicted heavy to very heavy rains in most of the northeastern states including Assam on April 4 and 5 and strong surface winds with speeds of up to 40 km per hour.
The cyclone very likely to move further north-northeastwards and emerge into Bangladesh on May 4 evening.