Tuesday 23 July 2019
 
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India to evacuate 800,000 as cyclone nears east coast

NEW DELHI, May 2, 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.

What is expected to be India's strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in 20 years is barreling toward 100 million people on the country's east coast, reported CNN.

On Thursday, Tropical Cyclone Fani had strengthened significantly in the Bay of Bengal, with maximum sustained winds of 250 km per hour and gusts of up to 305 km per hour, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Fani, which is about 80 km off the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states, is equivalent in intensity to a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic, or a super typhoon in the Pacific. (It's 2 mph away from a Category 5 hurricane, the highest on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.), it added

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

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, said Reuters.

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.




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