May 3 (UNI) The land fall impact of extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani has started this morning and the cyclone Fani is moving north northeastwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali close to Puri with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph Heavy rainfall with wind speed reaching over 115 kmph started at sveralplaces in the coastal Odisha since early this morning with the MET department issuing red warning in as many as 17 districts in the state.
The Odisha government had already evacuated over a one million people from 14 districts before wee hours today and put them in over 4000 cyclone and other shelter homes.
The storm is likely to impact coastal districts of Odisha including Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore.
In West Bengal, districts of East & West Medinipur, South & North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogly, Jhargram and Kolkata alongwith Srikakulam, Vijayanagram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh are likely to be affected.
IMD also warned of storm surge of about 1.5 meter height which may inundate low lying coastal areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
Official sources said about 10,000 villages and 52 towns located in 9 districts will be affected in the cyclone Fani . Around 900 cyclone shelters have been made ready to house the evacuees.
The government planned to evacuate nearly 11.5 lakh people to safer areas before the cyclone Fani hit the land mass.
Arrangements have been made to warn people of the impending cyclone through announcements over public address systems, mass SMS and local media.
About 28 teams of NDRF and 20 teams of ODRAF besides 525 teams of Odisha. Fire Brigade are pressed into the relief and rescue operation in the areas likely to be hit by the cyclone.
All flight operations from Bhubaneswar has been suspended from midnight of May 2 and will be resumed as soon the conditions improve.
The East Coast Railways have already suspended operations of trains in Odisha and cancelled over 147 trains since yesterday.
Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have deployed ships and helicopters for relief and rescue operations. Army and Air Force units in the three States have also been put on standby
The state government has asked the people not to move out till the cyclone Fani cross the Odisha coast.All the government and private offices in the cyclone affected districts are closed today.
The business establishments across the state are also closed as per the request of the government which has issued an advisory.