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‘Extremely severe cyclone’ Fani inching closer to Odisha

Vinson Kurian THIRUVANANTHAPURAM | Updated on May 01, 2019 Published on May 01, 2019

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Extremely severe cyclone to make landfall along Odisha coast on Friday

Extremely severe cyclone ‘Fani’ has moved to the north-west and lay centred 610 km south-south-west of Puri and 360 km south-south-east of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) as of 2.30 pm on Wednesday.

The monstrous storm was expected to move further north-west towards the Andhra Pradesh coast until late night but re-curve away from the Andhra Pradesh coast towards the Odisha coast, the projected landfall area.

The storm has clearly passed beyond the coast of Tamil Nadu, which seems to have lost out on a productive wet spell.

‘Fani’ will cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali around Puri on Friday afternoon lashing the coast with winds whose speed will reach up to 180 km/hr.

In between, the powerful storm is expected to clock wind speeds of up to 190 km/hour and gust to 210 km/hour while still being in the mid-seas.

But global models suspected that the ‘storm tower’ has suffered some damage along the western flanks due to proximity to land as it navigates the ‘V’ shape of the landmass to the East (the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast).

But sea-surface temperatures continue to be very warm at around 31 degree Celsius, allowing for ample convection and cloud-building around the storm, helping it to hold on to strength and intensity.

Last day in office

These enabling conditions should sustain ‘Fani’ through the course of tomorrow (Thursday), its last full day in office, and weaken only a bit ahead of landfall on Friday afternoon.

 

The distance traversed by the enormous storm should be on par with, if not beyond the one followed by very severe cyclone ‘Ockhi’ in 2017 from the South-East Bay into the Arabian Sea, Lakshadweep and later Gujarat.

Tourists advised to leave

A cyclone alert is in place for Odisha and Bengal and Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh.

PTI reports: At a meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and attended by the representatives of the State and Central Ministries, the National Crisis Management Committee reviewed the preparedness for Fani.

Even as States along the cyclone’s path geared up for any eventuality, the Odisha government advised tourists to leave the seaside pilgrim town of Puri, a senior official said.

The Cabinet Secretary has directed the Defence Ministry to meet the requirements of the Odisha government.

 

 

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Published on May 01, 2019
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