Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to hit the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, at 8am on Friday 3 May, with winds gusting at more than 190kmh.
Tens of millions of people are in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million people were evacuated away from the coast in India alone. Stretches of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause flooding.
The local authorities have set up around 850 shelters and have evacuated 1 million people living along the coast. The Indian Red Cross is operating 65 shelters in Odisha state, with a capacity of 1,000 to 3,000 people in each. They can withstand winds of 400kmh and storm surges of 1.5m.
For India, IFRC has allocated 87,700 Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund for preparedness, initial assessment and, if necessary, emergency assistance.
A total of 59 million people in Bangladesh (total population 165 million) could be exposed to cyclone wind or a deep depression. Communities have been advised to listen for evacuation orders related to Fani, which has since been downgraded from a “severe extreme cyclonic storm” to a “very severe storm”.