Bhubaneshwar: Three people have died in Odisha as extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani lashed the coastal state on Friday morning, uprooting trees, blowing away thatched huts, and disrupting communication links.
A teenager was killed when a tree came crashing down on him at a place within Sakhigopal police station area limits in Puri district. In another case, flying debris from a concrete structure hit a woman in Nayagarh district when she had gone to fetch water, killing her.
In Debendranarayanpur village in Kendrapara district, a 65-year-old woman died after suspected heart attack at a cyclone shelter, an official said.
The eye of cyclonic storm 'Fani' has "completely moved into land" by 10 am Friday weakening its fury, but heavy rainfall is still predicted in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and parts of the northeastern states, the Home Ministry said.
All flights from Bhubaneswar have been cancelled from midnight, Kolkata airport will be shut from 3 pm today to 8 am tomorrow. More than 200 flights from Kolkata will be cancelled.
In Andhra Pradesh, light to moderate rainfall is likely at most places with heavy to very heavy rains at isolated places over Srikakulam district on Friday. Also light to moderate rainfall is likely in West Bengal on Friday, with heavy to very heavy showers at a few places and extremely heavy rains at isolated places.
Helpline number 1938 has been activated in the home ministry control room. The NDRF has deployed 60 teams each comprising 45 personnel while 25 teams are kept on standby.
Cyclone Fani is the strongest cyclonic storm since the Super Cyclone of 1999, which claimed close to 10,000 lives and battered the Odisha coast for 30 hours.
The Meteorological Department said it is the first cyclonic storm of such severity in April in India's oceanic neighbourhood in 43 years.