New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday took to Twitter to inform that she has cancelled all her election rallies for the next two days in the wake of ‘impending’ Cyclone Fani in her home state.
“Have canceled my rallies for the next 48 hours because of what could be an impending disaster #CyclonicStormFANI We are monitoring the situation 24×7 and doing all it takes. I appeal to all people to cooperate. Be alert, take care and stay safe for the next two days,” she tweeted.
Banerjee will stay in Kharagpur in West Bengal, near the coastal belt and monitor the situation herself.
Earlier in the day, Odisha and adjoining regions were battered by the extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani which made landfall in Puri district with a wind speed of around 245 kmph, according to Hyderabad IMD.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted: “The extremely severe cyclonic storm “Fani” is very likely to move north-northeastwards and weaken into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 6 hours.”
The landfall began on Friday morning at 8 am with strong winds and rain hitting Puri district. Helpline number – 1938 – has been made operational by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Indian Coast Guard has positioned 34 disaster relief teams at Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Paradip, Gopalpur, Haldia, Frazergunj and Kolkata besides four ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai.
The system is likely to continue to move north-northeastwards, weaken gradually and emerge into Gangetic West Bengal as a “severe cyclonic storm” by the early morning of May 4.