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India travel warning over severe cyclone

British travellers to eastern states in India have been alerted to an imminent severe cyclone with reported wind speeds of 127 mph.

Storm Fani is forecast to make landfall in the states of Odisha and West Bengal today.

More than one million people have reportedly been evacuated from villages along India’s eastern coastline ahead of the cyclone, described by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as being “extremely severe”.

The cyclone is expected to hit 15 districts in Odisha, including the tourist town of Puri, which is home to the 858-year-old Jagannath temple.

Flights and train services in and out of the state have been cancelled, while schools and government offices are shut.

In updated travel advice, the FCO said yesterday: “You should monitor weather updates from the Indian Meteorological Department and international forecasts; follow the advice of local authorities and tour operators.”

Officials have shut down operations at two major ports on the east coast, and thousands of rescuers are helping people evacuate from low-lying areas, the BBC reported.

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states are also on high alert.

Officials told BBC Hindi that around 800,000 people are in the process of being evacuated.

Almost 100,000 of them will be evacuated from Puri, a city in Orissa, as authorities believe that this is where the storm will hit hardest.

Puri is also home to the 858-year-old Jagannath temple – officials are also worried about the impact it could have on the historic building.

Meanwhile, all schools and universities in the state have shut.

Cyclone Fani will be the fourth storm to hit the country’s east coast in the last three decades.

 

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