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A severe cyclonic storm has been developing since Monday evening. Disaster response teams have already been put on alert; fishermen have been advised against sailing. As Cyclone Fani lurks around the corner, raging in the Bay of Bengal, here is all you need to know about it.
Fani, pronounced as 'Phoni', is a 'severe cyclonic storm' that may develop into an 'extremely severe cyclone' by Wednesday, according to India Meteorological Department (IMD) predictions.
Wind speed in normal cyclones go up to 90 km per hour, but Fani has the potential to touch a 195 kmph speed, which is worrisome.
The last time a severe cyclone had developed was in 2008. Cyclone Nargis had left Myanmar devastated.
Fani is likely to hit Odisha's southern and coastal districts the hardest. The state has 880 cyclone centres, all of them have been put on alert.
Cyclones are not new to Odisha. The worst one, a super cyclone had hit the state in 1999, killing more than 15,000 people, with most of the casualty being reported from Odisha.
It is yet unclear where Cyclone Fani will make landfall, but Met Department predictions point at the north coast of Andhra Pradesh, likely around May 2 or 3.
The three states on alert are Odisha, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh. National Disaster Response Force and the Indian Coast Guard units are in touch with the governments of the states constantly. The fishermen of these states have been advised not to sail into the sea.
The IMD keeps updating these states with the latest forecasts every three hours, while the Home Ministry keeps in constant touch with the state governments and concerned central agencies.
Notably, cyclones are always named by agencies for ease of communication.
Fani was named by Bangladesh, a Bengali word, which loosely translated means "the hood of a snake".
The Indian Air Force and BrahMos Aerospace were supposed to test fire the air-launched version of the supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 fighter jet, this week. However, following the updates on the cyclonic development, this has been stalled for the time being.