Flights cancelled and travel warning issued as Cyclone Fani hits India
Airports in Kolkata and Bhubaneswar closed as the storm made landfall on India's east coast
The worst storm to hit India in years made landfall on the country’s east coast bringing with it winds of up to 180kph and causing flight cancellations at two of the country's airports.
Travellers in Odisha have been told to carefully monitor weather reports and anyone with trips to the region is urged to reconsider travel plans.
Flights to and from Biju Patnaik International Airport have been cancelled. Kolkata airport has also been closed.
Budget airline GoAir announced the cancellation of all Friday flights on both its Kolkata and Mumbai to Bhubaneswar routes. The company is waiving charges for customers who wish to cancel or rebook.
IndiGo also announced cancellations on Friday flights to and from Bhubaneswar. Passengers are being rebooked on the next available flights and any travellers that were set to fly between May 2 and May 5 have the option of a full refund, said the company on twitter.
National carrier Air India has cancelled several flights from Kolkata and from other eastern regions, waiving any associated cancellation fees. Vistara also announced that its Bhubaneswar and Kolkata bound flights will be non-operational.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a travel advisory for those already in India and Bangladesh.
Authorities asked tourists to avoid unnecessary travel. Storm operation teams visited tourist hotspots and holiday villages prior to the cyclone's arrival, advising people to get to safety. Additional buses were deployed to assist people that were trying to leave the area.
An emergency helpline number has been set up for various districts in Odisha. At least 14 districts are in the path of Cyclone Fani with people having been evacuated from Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Naygarh, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore Mayurbhanj, Dhenkanal and Keonjhar.
Rail travel has also been severely affected with over 200 trains cancelled between Bhadrak, Bhubaneswar, Puri and Vizianagaram.
As the storm began to wave across Odisha, many people took to Twitter to share footage of the cyclone.
Updated: May 6, 2019 02:02 AM