Odisha evacuates 800,000 people as Cyclone Fani nears coast

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Odisha started evacuating lakhs of people from its seaside villages and interior districts in buses and smaller vehicles on Friday, a day before an extremely severe Cyclone Fani is expected to make landfall near the pilgrim town of Puri, officials said.

The Indian Meteorological Department said Cyclone Fani is heading towards Puri with wind speeds ranging between 170-180km per hour and is expected to make landfall on Friday afternoon near Balukhanda area.
Fani lay centred about 430 km south-southwest of Puri and 225 km off Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh till 8.30am on Thursday and was moving towards the coast at a speed of 15km an hour. It is expected to travel another 30 hours over the sea before making landfall, weather officials said.

Odisha has 879 multipurpose cyclone and flood shelters that can house more than 1,000 people each. In addition to it, school and college buildings are likely to be used to house the evacuated people. The livestock of the people would also be evacuated and housed at these cyclone shelters, reports HT.

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