India begins evacuations as Cyclone Fani moves up coast

India begins evacuations as Cyclone Fani moves up coast

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday ordered the advance release of Rs 1086 crore to the State Disaster Response Funds of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal to tackle the cyclonic storm.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Fire Service and Disaster Response personnel prepare for emergencies in view of Cyclone Fani, which may hit the Odisha coast by Friday.

The IMD has warned of extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in north coastal Andhra Pradesh. The state administration has begun evacuating residents from low lying areas and moving them to cyclone shelters. In a statement, a spokesman for the Indian Navy said, "Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are ready & standing-by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid".

Isolated rain and thunderstorms are likely to hit Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha on Wednesday.

India's election commission has eased its restrictions in Odisha's coastal districts to allow the state authorities to carry out swift relief and rehabilitation work.

"We have requested the Cabinet Secretary to station two helicopters for extra air-dropping, if required and additional NDRF teams as our primary task is evacuation", Chief Secretary AP Padhi told reporters after attending a review meeting.

The NDRF is deploying 41 teams in Andhra Pradesh (eight teams), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (five teams).

This suggests maximum caution to be exercised by Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal coasts, he maintained.

At least 60 people had been killed when cyclone "Titli" struck Odisha in October 2018. The IMD has asked fishermen not to venture into the sea.

Light to moderate rainfall at a few places is very likely over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south coastal Odisha on Thursday.

The IMD has issued a "yellow warning" to the state following the approaching very severe storm which will lash several parts with heavy to very heavy rainfall.

All state universities and colleges coming under administrative control of Higher Education Department and located in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts will remain closed from May 2 to 4th, said reports.All teaching, non-teaching and administrative staff will, however, have attend to office.

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