Massive evacuations are underway in Odisha in view of the approaching Cyclone Fani, which is moving towards the Odisha coast as an Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm.
As per the latest bulletin of India Meteorological Department, Cyclone Fani lay centred over west central Bay of Bengal, some 450 kilometres south-southwest of Puri in Odisha.
The cyclone is expected to make landfall over Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, near Puri, on Friday afternoon.
When it makes landfall tomorrow, the storm will pack winds of upto 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph.
Cyclones in India in April are very rare.
They normally form in October or November post the Southwest Monsoon season or just before its onset in May.
“In between 1891 and 2017, only 14 severe tropical cyclones were formed in April over the Bay of Bengal and only one storm crossed the Indian mainland,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, tweeted.
Cyclone Fani, pronounced as Foni, has turned out to be one of the strongest cyclonic storms that have formed in the Bay of Bengal in recent years.
As per reports, Fani is the first severe cyclonic storm that has formed in the Bay of Bengal in the month of April since the year 1976.
Further, it is also only the second severe cyclonic storm in 118 years to have formed in April in the Bay of Bengal and that would make landfall on the Indian mainland.