Cyclonic storm Fani may cross the Odisha coast somewhere between Gopalpur and Chandbali

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Bhubaneswar: April 30: The very severe cyclonic storm ‘Fani’, located over southeast and adjoining southwest Bay of Bengal about 800 km south of Puri, is likely to hit the Odisha coast on May 3 afternoon, the Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) of the SOA Deemed to be University here, said on Tuesday.

The system is expected to intensify further into an extremely severe cyclonic storm and cross the Odisha coast somewhere between Gopalpur and Chandbali close to Puri on May 3 with a maximum sustained wind speed of around 180 to 200 km per hour, Dr. Sarat Chandra Sahu, Director of CEC, said.

It is likely that the cyclone will move northwestwards on Wednesday and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards before hitting the Odisha coast.

The severity of the cyclonic storm could trigger storm surges of 5 to 7 metres height along the coast causing the sea to sweep inland up to ten km which meant steps needed to be taken to evacuate people living in these areas close to the sea and shifted to cyclone shelters, he said.

Environmental conditions including the sea temperature of 30 to 31 degree C were favourable for intensifying the severe cyclonic storm into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours, Dr. Sahu said adding the heat holding capacity of the sea was generally found to be more during the month of October which explained more number of cyclones in the Bay of Bengal during that time of the year.

Such occurrences are rare in the month of May though Odisha has experienced cyclones five times (as per record) in May in the years 1893, 1914, 1917, 1982 and 1989, he said.

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The districts of Ganjam, Puri, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Jajpur, Khurda, Bhadrak and Balasore were likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone as it roared towards the coast. It was also expected to affect Mayurbhanj district and adjoining parts of south Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Initially, it was being thought that the cyclone would graze the Odisha coast and veer off towards the north, but it was now coming straight at the state, he said.

The interior districts of Odisha are unlikely to be affected though rains may be experienced there and ‘kalbaisakhi’ may occur in the western districts which were going through a torrid spell of heat wave at present. The heat, likely to subside for a while because of the cyclonic storm, would rise again, Dr. Sahu said. (IANS)