10 Things To Know About Cyclone Fani & The Devastation That It Has Caused


Cyclone Fani or the cyclonic storm is the worst storm to hit the Indian subcontinent since last two decades. The impact has been quite severe with several trees being uprooted and the heavy rainfall and stormy winds creating havoc lashing the several coastal districts like Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, and Ganjam.

Already the seaside town of Puri, as well as the neighboring areas of the pilgrim center, are submerged with water due to heavy rains. With the areas experiencing a wind with a 175km/hour speed and expected to go beyond 200km/hour, the process of landfall will continue, said, in-charge of the Cyclone Warning Division, Mritunjay Mohapatra.

Here are 10 things that you must know about Cyclone Fani:

1. Categorized As Extremely Severe Cyclone

Cyclone Fani has been categorized as an extremely severe cyclone (ESC) and is the 10th ESC to hit the country for the last 52 years during the month of May. According to the data procured from the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the last time ESC hit India during May was in 2004.

IMD classified the cyclones on the basis of the maximum sustained surface wind speed (MSW) generated by them.  

2. Cyclone Fani Is Different

Pronounced as Foni, the two factors of timing and strength make Cyclone Fani different from the other cyclones in the tropical region during this time of the year. Generally, the cyclones over the Bay of Bengal do not have a life span of more than four to seven days.

But Fani started developing sometime around April 25 and transversing for around 10 days over the sea has now gathered enough strength to become an extremely severe cyclone.

3. Trajectory Of Fani

The trajectory of Fani also makes it different from other cyclones. It started from the Equator and then moved in the upward direction thus making a long journey from where it started and where it finally made landfall.

4. Stronger Than Other Cyclones

Most of the cyclones that are generated in the Bay of Bengal become much weaker by the time they reach the landmass of India. However, since Cyclone Fani developed much closer to the Equator it continues to be stronger.

5. Cyclone To Hit Bangladesh By May 4

According to the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) that monitors weather conditions,  the ESC Fani will land in Orissa and will have wind speeds of over 170km/hour.

But it will not stop here and will move north-northeastwards, strike West Bengal as SC (severe cyclone) and further hit the land of Bangladesh as a cyclonic storm on May 4.

6. Floods Predicted In Orissa

The WMO has also said that the low-lying districts in Orissa can get flooded due to the huge storm surge of around 1.5-meter height above the regular astronomical tide when Cyclone Fani will hit the state.

7. Indian Navy Carrying Rescue Operations

Three warships of Indian Navy including Ranvir, Kadmatt, and Sahyadri are engaged in rescue operations carrying relief material. The medical teams are also tracking the cyclone to ensure that the rescue work starts as soon as Orissa gets hit by Cyclone Fani.

The warships are positioned south of the cyclone so that immediate rescue operations can be started whereas more naval vessels are on standby at the Vizag port.

8. Officials Evacuate 11 Lakh People In 24 Hours

With the sea in Puri getting turbulent, the evacuation operations in the place and around the areas of Chandipur up to 5 km of the beach area was carried out in the last 24 hours. In the process, the officials successfully evacuated 11 lakh people. Six people have already lost life due to the uprooting of trees.  

9. Road Networks In Orissa Suffer Extensive Damage 

All flights from Bhubaneshwar have already been canceled whereas Kolkata airport is also shutting down its operations from 9.30 pm onwards on May 3 till next day evening at 6 pm. The road networks in Orissa have suffered extensive damage due to the cyclone with more than 147 trains getting canceled.

10. Indian Coast Guard Readies 34 Relief Teams

The Indian Coast Guard has readied and sent 34 disaster relief teams to locations including Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Chennai, Gopalpur, Frazergunj, Haldia, and Kolkata. Apart from these, 4 ships are already on standby at Chennai and Vishakhapatnam.

People from affected areas can contact for help on helpline number 1938 made operational by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).