Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government Wednesday advised tourists to leave Puri by Thursday, May 2 evening and cancel non-essential travel to the districts likely to be affected by cyclone ‘Fani’ during Friday and Saturday.
It has also ordered closure of all educational institutions in the state from Thursday in view of the cyclone, which is likely to hit the coast near Puri on May 3 afternoon.
“All educational establishments should declare holidays from May 2 till further orders. All the examinations should be rescheduled,” said Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi.
According to the IMD Bulletin at 8:30am today based on 5:30am forecast, the cyclone Fani moved northwestwards with a speed of about 10 kmph in last six hours and currently lay centred about 680 km south-southwest of Puri and 430 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam.
It is very likely to move northwestwards over next 12 hours and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast near Satapada in Puri district on May 3 afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.
After landfall it is likely to move to Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore districts of Odisha and then enter to West Bengal.
The SRC has directed all 28 teams of NDRF, 20 ODRAF units and other fire services units at the State’s disposal to be deployed in these areas on priority basis. He has also asked the district collectors of these districts to remain on high alert and put emergency evacuation, relief and rescue plans in place.
These apart, the Government — in a separate notification issued Tuesday — deployed five senior IAS officers to supervise relief and rescue operations in five of the likely most-affected districts.
While Suresh Chandra Mohapatra has been asked to supervise Puri, PK Mohapatra will be in-charge in Jagatsinghpur, PK Jena in Kendrapara, Anil Kumar Samal in Jajpur and Balwant Singh will take care of operations in Balasore.