The Government of India has started evacuating close to 1 million people living in the path of Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm "Fani."
The latest forecast track by RSMC New Delhi, the authority for this region, calls for landfall to take place between 03:00 and 06:00 UTC (08:30 - 11:30 IST) on May 3, 2019 south of Puri, between Gopalpur and Chandbali, Odisha.
Maximum sustained surface winds at the time of landfall are expected to be between 170 and 180 km/h (105 - 112 mph) with gusts to 200 km/h (124 mph) - Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm.
Source: RSMC Nadi. Valid: 16:30 UTC, May 2, 2019
Landfall process is very likely to continue until 09:00 UTC.
Tropical Cyclone "Fani" on May 2, 2019. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS
After the landfall, Fani is very likely to continue moving NNE, weaken gradually and emerge into Gangetic West Bengal as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with wind speed of 90 - 100 km/h (56 - 62 mph) and gusts to 115 km/h (71 mph) by early morning May 4.
It is very likely to move further NNE and emerge into Bangladesh on the evening of May 4 as a Cyclonic Storm with wind speed of 60 - 70 km/h (37 - 43 mph) and gusts to 80 km/h (50 mph)
Storm surge of about 1.5 m (4.9 feet) above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha state at the time of landfall.
With maximum sustained winds of 250 km/h (155 mph) on May 2, Fani became the strongest of any cyclones this early in a calendar year in the North Indian Ocean since the Bangladesh Cyclone of 1991.
Featured image: Tropical Cyclone "Fani" on May 2, 2019. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS