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"As the cyclone storm Fani intensifies into a severe cyclonic storm over SE & adjoining SW Bay of Bengal & lie about 770 km ESE of Chennai at 1730 h/ 29 April, the Eastern Naval CD (ENC) has assumed high degree of readiness 2 render necessary humanitarian assistance", the Indian Navy said in a statement.
It is likely to move southwards of Puri around May 3 afternoon at a wind speed of 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph.
The special bulletin also suggested "extensive evacuation from coastal areas of East Midnapore, North and South 24 Parganas districts". Chief secretaries, principal secretaries of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal attended the meeting through video conference.
The states have issued advisories and are ensuring that fishermen do not venture into the sea.
The 880 cyclone shelters in coastal and southern districts have been kept ready to accomodate the evacuees, Sethi said, adding that in districts like Gajapati and Rayagada, where such facilities do not exist, they will be housed in schools and anganwadi centres.
"Arrangements have already been made for free kitchen, safe drinking water, lighting, health and sanitation", it said in a statement. Besides, the Collectors of all the districts which are expected to be affected by the cyclone have been directed to take measures to prevent entry of rainwater into the strong rooms.
Indian Navy, Indian Air Force, and Army relief teams are also on high alert for rapid response.
Puri is home to Shree Jagannath, one of Hinduism's holiest temples, which receives millions of pilgrims each year. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has suspended the model code of conduct (MCC) from 11 coastal districts of the State to facilitate relief and rescue operations.
Under normal circumstances the incumbent government has certain powers suspended, so that it can't announce new schemes or take new decisions during the voting period. The ECI had earlier fixed May 19 as the date for the polling in Patkura.
Fani will cross land between north coastal Odisha and extreme south coastal West Bengal on May 3 midnight and early hours of May 4 with a wind speed of 150 kmph, RTGC said in a release.
At least two people were killed in the cyclone. In 2017, Cyclone Ockhi left almost 250 people dead in Tamil Nadu and Kerala states.