Having spent days building up its strength in Bay of Bengal, the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani finally stuck the Odisha Coast near Puri around 08:40 AM on May 3, 2019. At the time of landfall, Fani was sustaining speed of 180-190 kmph gusting up to 200-210 kmph.
According to media reports, around five people have lost lives due to this devastating storm. This was after when the state authorities had evacuated around one million people on May 2. The cyclone Fani has already given torrential rain and strong winds across coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal.
Fani is presently centered near Latitude 19.1°N and Longitude 85.5°E, about 85 km south/southwest of Puri (Odisha), 70 km east/southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and about 390 km south/southwest of Digha (West Bengal).
This system is now heading further north/northeastwards towards West Bengal. But as the system will be now travelling inland it will gradually start weakening. According to weathermen, it is presently seen as a very severe cyclonic storm. However, it will continue to sustain the strength of a cyclonic storm by the time it reaches West Bengal.
In fact, heavy rains and squally winds have already started lashing parts of West Bengal and Kolkata. As the Fani moves closer, It rains would pick up pace and heavy to very heavy rains are likely over several parts of Kolkata and West Bengal.
Thousands of passengers were stranded in Howrah and Sealdah railway station as the South Eastern Railways cancelled 233 trains to Odisha/ Digha to prevent any mishaps. The Kolkata airport will also shut all operations from 6 pm on Friday till 9.30pm on Saturday. The airport is partially functioning as of now.
RAIN WARNING: Moderate rains with very heavy to extremely heavy falls at isolated places are very likely over coastal & and adjoining districts of West Bengal on May 3. Heavy to very falls at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal on May 4 will also occur.
WIND WARNING: Squally wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph are very likely along & off West Bengal Coast by May 3 afternoon and become 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph on May 4 early morning.
Thus, we can say that, torrential rains accompanied with strong gusty winds are all set to make their appearance in the constituencies of West Bengal. In fact, districts of Bankura, Malda, Hooghly, Kolkata, Midnapore, Nadia, Howrah and Krishna Sagar have been put under RED ALERT.
Though the effect of cyclone Fani is yet to be seen in Bengal, the district administration has declared high alert to be prepared against a storm-like situation. As the day began, the wind speed increased with a light bout of rain.
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