ADRA is prepared to respond in India and Bangladesh as the dangerous storm makes landfall, threatening more than 100 million people.
Tropical storm Fani, (pronounced “foe-nee”) a severe cyclonic storm formed in the Bay of Bengal with wind gusts of up to 127 mph, is heading to the eastern coast of India and looks to gain strength as it’s forecasted to also move toward Bangladesh by Saturday.
“ADRA is monitoring and preparing for Cyclone Fani, which has intensified and is expected to make landfall at Odisha state in India,” says Mario Oliveira, emergency management director for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency. “ADRA in India is expected to arrive in Bhubaneshwar on May 2. While there, we’ll be working closely with local authorities to assess damages and needs, once the storm passes.”
The storm could affect local areas, including Khulna, Satkhira, Bagerhat, Pirojpur, Patuakhali, Barguna, Chittagon, and Cox’s Bazar.
Oliveira says that storms regularly hit eastern and southeastern India between April and December. Reportedly, Cyclone Titli was the most recent storm to hit India in 2017 where more than 200 people were killed in the Tamil Nadu and Kerala states. The worst-ever cyclone occurred in 1999 that killed more than 8,000 people.
“ADRA responded to Cyclone Titli last year in the Kerala state, and we are ready to respond to Cyclone Fani,” Oliveira says.
Local authorities in the areas of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal, India are taking necessary precautions to alert residents of the impending storm, which is predicted to cause heavy rainfall, strong winds and a storm surge.
Already, the state minister for Bangladesh has asked that schools, colleges, and other educational institutions be used as temporary means of shelter, according to news reports. Over 850 shelters in the state are being made available to accommodate around one million people.
“Cyclone Fani will have an impact because the storm will be going through Bangladesh, a high-density populated region,” Oliveira says.
More information will be provided as it is made available.