India plans to evacuate 800,000 as cyclone nears east coast

By Rajive Singh

NEW DELHI 3 May 2019: India will use boats, buses and trains to evacuate 800,000 people along its east coast on Thursday ahead of an approaching cyclone that is forecast to make landfall within 24 hours, according to Reuters.

Quoting officials, the new agency has reported that severe Cyclonic Storm Fani was centred in the west of the Bay of Bengal.

Meanwhile, India Meteorological Office has said that south coast of Odisha state was also expected to get heavy to very heavy rainfall on Thursday, said wam.

The state-run weather office also forecast wind speeds gusting up to 200 kph (125 mph) by Friday. Cyclone tracker Tropical Storm Risk rated Fani a mid-range category 3 storm.

About 800,000 people were expected to be evacuated from low-lying areas of 14 districts in Odisha to cyclone shelters, safer schools and college buildings, a government statement said.

India’s cyclone season generally lasts from April to December, with severe storms often leading to the evacuation of tens of thousands of people, widespread deaths and damage to crops and property in both India and Bangladesh.