Severe cyclonic storm Fani over Southeast and adjoining Southwest Bay of Bengal is very likely to intensify further into an ‘Extremely Severe’ cyclonic storm during the next 36 hours, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) informed on Tuesday.

The cyclonic storm is very likely to move Northwestwards till May 1 evening and recurve North-Northeastwards towards the Odisha coast, it further said.

The Met department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places over coastal Odisha and the adjoining districts of North coastal Andhra Pradesh on May 3 and 4.

Light to moderate rainfall is expected at most places with heavy rainfall at isolated places very likely over the coastal districts of West Bengal on May 3 and 4.

As the cyclonic storm is intensifying over the south-east and adjoining south-west Bay of Bengal, the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) is on high alert to render necessary humanitarian assistance, a Navy spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Indian Naval ships at Visakhapatnam and Chennai are on stand-by to proceed to the most affected areas to undertake Humanitarian Aid Distress Relief (HADR), evacuation, logistic support including providing medical aid.

These ships are embarked with additional divers, doctors, inflatable rubber boats and relief material that include food, tents, clothes, medicines and blankets.

Naval aircraft are also on standby at the Naval Air Stations INS Rajali at Arakkonam, Tamil Nadu and INS Dega at Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, to undertake reconnaissance, rescue, casualty evacuation and airdrop of relief material to the stranded if required, the spokesperson was quoted as saying by IANS.

With Cyclone Fani moving towards the Odisha coast, the state government on Monday cancelled the leaves of its employees in the three coastal districts of Ganjam, Puri and Kendrapara as a precautionary measure.

At the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took stock of the state administration’s preparedness to deal with the cyclonic storm.

Fani is likely to trigger rainfall in Odisha from May 2, along with 40-50 km of wind per hour in the coastal districts from the morning hours of May 2, increasing further during the day.

While the weather department has predicted a possibility of landfall in Odisha, it has ruled out landfall over Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The IMD had issued a red alert for Kerala and Tamil Nadu two days ago over the approaching cyclone in the Bay of Bengal.

The National Crisis Management Committee met under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and took stock of the situation, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to be monitoring the developments.

The National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) and Indian Coast Guard have been put on high alert and are coordinating with state governments. They have prepositioned themselves adequately. Regular warnings have been issued since 25 April to fishermen not to venture into the sea and asking those at sea to return to the coast.

The IMD is issuing three-hourly bulletins with latest forecast to all the concerned states, while the MHA is in touch with state governments and the Central agencies concerned.

Meanwhile, according to an ANI report, the India Air Force and BrahMos Aerospace have put on hold test-firing of the air-launched version of a supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi-30 combat aircraft in view of Fani.