At least one million people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours from the vulnerable districts in Odisha ahead of Cyclone Fani's landfall in the state on Friday, officials said.
The highest number of people -- 3 lakh -- was evacuated from Ganjam district while 1.3 lakh people have been evacuated from Puri district, said an official from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office.
Disaster relief teams deployed as Cyclone Fani heads to make landfall in Odisha; helpline number operational
About ten thousand villages and fifty-two Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are likely to be affected by cyclonic storm Fani.
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani, which has turned into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, laid centred about 110 km away from Puri at 4.30 a.m.
It is very likely to cross between Gopalpur and Chandabali close to Puri with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph in the Friday forenoon, the IMD said.
The state government has advised people not to step out of their houses. As a precautionary measure, all shops, business establishments, private and government offices will remain closed in 11 coastal districts.
Meanwhile, Cyclone Fani has triggered heavy downpour coupled with squall in coastal Odisha.