Cyclone Fani said to be the strongest cyclone in 43 years

Cyclone Fani MHA orders advance release of Rs 1086 crore to SDRF's of 4 states

The tropical cyclone is likely to make a landfall in Puri district on Friday afternoon with a maximum wind speed of 175-185 kilometers per hour (Kmph), gusting to 205 Kmph.

Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai has also been kept at standby so that it can proceed to the most affected areas to undertake humanitarian aid distress relief work, evacuation, logistic support, including providing medical aid.

As many as 12 districts have been put on high alert.

Aircraft of the Indian Navy are also in a state of readiness at two locations for emergency services.

The authorities in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have been bracing for the arrival of the Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm "Fani".

Speaking to media persons, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Odisha, Surendra Kumar said that the constitutional authority has chose to change the locations of two of the strong rooms where the EVMs have been kept after the conclusion of 4-phase elections in the state.

Cyclone Fani is like to move northwestwards till noon on May 1, following which recurve north-northeastwards and cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chanbali.

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As per the forecasts, the Cyclonic Storm would be accompanied by heavy rains, gusty winds (above 150 kmph in speed), and thunderstorms.

A warning for very strong winds, heavy rainfall and rough sea has been issued for coastal areas of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, India.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission has approved the lifting of model code of conduct in 11 districts in Odisha to facilitate speedy relief and rescue operation in view of cyclonic storm Fani, a poll official said on Wednesday.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has deployed total 41 teams - eight in Andhra Pradesh, 28 in Odisha and five in West Bengal.

The NDRF and the Indian Coast Guard are coordinating with the state governments. The centre has released Rs 1,086 crore as advance funds for undertaking preventive and relief measures to deal with Cyclone Fani. The IMD has asked fishermen not to venture into the sea.

Local media reports say there are over 850 shelters in the state that can accommodate around one million people.

The higher education department has directed all state universities and colleges in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts to remain closed for three days from May 2.

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