Bhubaneswar: With the cyclonic storm Fani moving closer to the Odisha coast, the state government has evacuated 3,31,794 people to safer places so far while it has targeted to evacuate 11,54,475 people in 15 districts, said an official on Thursday.
Earlier, the state government had planned to evacuate only about eight lakh people.
The Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) said that 3,31,794 people were evacuated by 3 p.m on Thursday.
In all, 4,852 cyclone and flood shelters have been identified, it said.
Highest 1.82 lakh people have been evacuated in Ganjam district while the district administration has planned to evacuate 2.81 lakh people in the district.
The landfall will start between 8 a.m and 10 a.m and continue up to 12 noon on May 3, said the SRC.
The cyclone is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri on May 3 forenoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting up to 200 kmph.
According to the forecast by the India Matereological Department (IMD), Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurdha, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Balasore districts of Odisha are likely to be severely affected.