The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has lowered Cyclone Fani to a severe cyclonic storm as it continues moving through West Bengal on the morning (local time) of Saturday, May 4. As of 05:45, the storm is approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Kolkata with wind speeds around 90 kph (56 mph). Fani is moving north-northeast and is expected to exit West Bengal through Nadia and Murshidabad districts on Saturday afternoon before arriving in Bangladesh later in the evening. Heavy rainfall and flooding are expected in north and northeastern Bangladesh through Sunday, May 5. Storm surge warnings remain in place for the districts of Chattogong, Noakhall, Laxmipur, Feni, Chandpur, Borguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Barishal, Pirozpur, Jhalokathi, Bagherhat, Khulna, and Satkhira. Officials warned that the abovementioned districts may experience a storm surge of up to 1.2-1.5 m (4-5 ft) above normal tide. Over 400,000 people have been evacuated from the coast in Bangladesh and authorities are attempting to move up to 2.1 million people before the storm hits. Significant rainfall and flooding is expected as the storm moves through the area.
Recovery efforts are ongoing in the Indian states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal as of May 4. At least seven fatalities have been confirmed by police in Odisha, with around 160 being injured in Puri alone. Casualty counts are expected to rise in the coming hours and days as more information is gathered. Transportation and power disruptions are also ongoing in Odisha, particularly along the Puri coast where Fani made landfall on the morning of Friday, May 3. Flight operations at Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport (BBI) are expected to resume at 13:00 on Saturday; however, residual disruptions are expected over the coming days. Emergency personnel have been deployed to clear roads blocked by debris and fallen trees. Details are still emerging.
Individuals in the abovementioned areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid oceangoing activities, anticipate severe weather, including heavy rain, damaging winds, and possible flooding, and associated disruptions to power, telecommunications, and transportation, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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