The Odisha government has put on alert its southern and coastal districts in view of the likely movement of Cyclone Fani, a senior government official said on Monday.
The cyclone is, however, unlikely to make landfall in the state, he said.
All the 880 cyclone centers besides 20 units of ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force), 12 units of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force) and 335 fire units have also been put on alert, the officer said. "Though Cyclone Fani is unlikely to make landfall in Odisha, it will pass through the state's coast during its movement.
"Under its influence, the state may experience heavy rainfall and wind speed reaching up to 60 kmph," Chief Secretary A P Padhi told reporters after a high-level meeting here. The meeting was attended by top officials of the Odisha Police, Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, Indian Coast Guard, NDRF, ODRAF, and others.
The Cabinet Secretary also held a video conferencing with chief secretaries of all the concerned states, including Odisha on Monday. "We are prepared to tackle any eventuality though the IMD has so far not given any definite information regarding landfall of the cyclone in any state in the eastern coast, including Odisha," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.
Noting that cyclones are unusual in this month of the year, Sethi said Cyclone Fani is all the more uncommon as it is traveling such a long distance in the sea. The SRC said apart from IMD reports, the state government is also keeping a watch on the information issued by international agencies such as the JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Centre) and others.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea after April 30, he said. Meanwhile, IMD sources said that the cyclone lay centered about 870 km east-southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 1040 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh) at 8.30 AM on Monday.
It is very likely to intensify into a Severe Cyclonic Storm and then into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm, the IMD said.