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Puri

Extremely severe cyclone Fani to hit Odisha coast on Friday afternoon

The extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani, over westcentral Bay of Bengal, was very likely to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri, on Friday afternoon, the India Meteorological Department said on Thursday.
The extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani, over westcentral Bay of Bengal, was very likely to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri, tomorrow afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today.
 
The IMD has already issued a cyclone warning for the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal and Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
 
In a bulletin issued at 1230 hours today, the IMD said Fani had moved further north-northeastwards with a speed of about 16 kmph in the previous six hours and lay centred at 1130 hours IST near latitude 16.7°N and longitude 84.8°E, about 360 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha), 190 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 550 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal). 
 
"It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri by the afternoon of 3rd May with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph," the bulletin said.
 
The cyclone is being tracked by Doppler Weather Radars Vishakhapatnam & Machilipatnam.
 
The bulletin said light to moderate rainfall would occur over most places in North Andhra Pradesh with isolated heavy to very heavy falls over Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram districts and isolated heavy to extremely heavy falls (>20 cm) over Srikakulam district today.
 
There could be heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places over Srikakulam district tomorrow, it said.
 
In  south coastal and adjoining interior Odisha, the IMD said there could be light to moderate rainfall at most places today, with heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy falls over Ganjam & Gajapati districts at isolated places.
 
"It is likely to increase with moderate rainfall at most places and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places over coastal Odisha and adjoining districts of interior Odisha on 3rd. Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over Balasore, Mayurbhanj districts of north Odisha on 4th May," it said.
 
The bulletin also forecast light to light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely over coastal and adjoining districts of West Bengal tomorrow; and heavy to very falls at isolated places over Gangetic West Bengal on May 4.
 
"Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on 4th May," it said.
 
The bulletin said Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya would experience light to moderate rainfall at most places, with isolated heavy to very heavy falls on May 4 and 5. There could be isolated extremely heavy falls over Assam and Meghalaya on May 4.
 
There could also light to moderate rainfall at many places over Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura on May 4, with isolated heavy falls.
 
The bulletin said gale winds, with speed reaching 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph, were very likely to prevail over westcentral Bay of Bengal around the system centre during the next 24 hours and decrease thereafter.
 
It said squally winds, with speed reaching 40-50 kmph, gusting to 60 kmph, were very likely to prevail along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coasts and become gale wind, speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph, from tonight. It is very likely to become 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph, along and off south Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam district) coasts; and 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph along and off remaining districts of coastal Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram Districts) by tomorrow forenoon for the subsequent 12 hours and decrease thereafter.
 
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"Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely along & off West Bengal coast from 2nd May evening. It is very likely become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from 3rd May afternoon and become 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph from 4th May early morning for subsequent 12 hours and decrease thereafter," it said.
 
The sea condition will be phenomenal over westcentral Bay of Bengal, off north Andhra Pradesh coasts, till tomorrow and over northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha and West Bengal till May 4.
 
Sea conditions are very likely to be very rough to high off north Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, along and off south Andhra Pradesh coasts till May 3.
 
The bulletin warned that storm surge of 1.5 metre height above astronomical tide was very likely to inundate low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into deep sea areas and those out in deep sea in the above aeas were advised to return to the coasts.
 
The bulletin said the cyclone could cause extensive damage to kutcha houses and old pucca and badly managed pucca structures in Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha.
 
It said there could be extensive uprooting of communication and  power poles. There could also be disruption of rail and road links and extensive damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards. Large boats and ships may get torn from their moorings.
 
The IMD suggested total suspension of fishing operations, extensive evacuation of people from coastal areas, and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic. People in affected areas have been advised to remain indoors.
 
The cyclone could also cause damage, on a lesser scale, in Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore districts of Odisha and east and west Medinipur, south and north 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata districts of West Bengal and Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh, the bulletin added.
 
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Six coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh

Six coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, railway sources said, adding that details of casualties were not immediately available.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. 
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
He said personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) would also reach the site soon.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan were on their way to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- have also left for the spot.
 
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ASI team says no structural damage to Konark temple

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A high-level team of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials has observed that, by and large, no structural damage was caused to the Sun Temple at Konark by cyclone Fani that hit Odisha recently.
 
The team, led by ASI Director General Usha Sharma, visited the Jagannath Temple at Puri and the Sun Temple at Konark to assess the damage caused by Fani, an official press release said yesterday.
 
During its Konark visit, the team observed that, by and large, there was no structural damage to the monument. It was informed about some dislocation in the scaffolding provided for chemical cleaning at the upper level, which is being set right.
 
More than 200 trees have been damaged which are being cleared. The electric and illumination system including internet access has gone out of order, restoration of which will take some time.
 
The monument will be opened to the public in the next two or three days. The chemical cleaning and consolidation of the eastern face will be completed on priority. The monument will be restored back to normal within about a fortnight, the release said.
 
The team later visited the Sri Jagannath Temple at Puri to assess the damage. The state government had sought help from the ASI to assess the damage caused to these world heritage monuments.
 
The team will also suggest restoration exercise needed for the monuments and the surrounding areas.
 
Earlier, the Superintending Archaeologist, Bhubaneswar Circle ASI had inspected the monuments including the Jagannath temple. He found certain damages on the surface but no major damage to the structure of the temple.
 
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Centre steps up efforts to restore power, telecom in cyclone-hit Odisha

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The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), under Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha today reviewed the rescue and relief measures in the cyclone Fani-affected areas of Odisha with senior officials of the State Government and Central Ministries and agencies concerned.
 
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released further assistance of Rs 1,000 crores to Odisha, as announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. Earlier, Rs 341 crores had been provided to the State as an advance to its State Disaster Relief Fund (SDRF).
 
Stressing on early restoration of power infrastructure, the state government reported that, following the deployment of additional manpower and materials from Central PSUs and neighbouring states, the power supply has been restored partially in Bhubaneswar, while a lot of ground still needed to be covered in Puri.
 
Power supply to maintain essential services such as water, health and banking and so on is being provided through diesel generator sets. It was reported that landline connectivity has been restored in Puri though mobile services still remain skeletal.
 
Department of Telecommunications is coordinating with the State Government to implement a priority plan for restoration of mobile and internet services in the affected areas. Mobile service providers have allowed free SMS and inter-circle roaming in these areas. Cellular towers on wheels are also being deployed in Puri.
 
Banking services have started and efforts are being made to operationalize all ATMs, an  official press release said.
 
The Centre has also decided to extend the Registration dates of the JEE Advanced examinations by five more days up to May 14th in the State. Those students who are unable to get internet connectivity, can approach IIT Bhubaneshwar for registration.
 
Reviewing the relief measures, the Cabinet Secretary stressed that Power and Telecommunications in Puri and Bhubaneswar needed to be restored on a priority basis and directed the concerned State and Central officials to work in close coordination. He directed that adequate number of gen-sets and mobile cellular towers be arranged and provided for the restoration efforts.
 
The Chief Secretary and other senior officers of Odisha participated in the NCMC Meeting through video conference. Senior officers from Ministries of Home Affairs, Power, Telecommunications, Steel, Financial Services, Road and Transport, Health, Higher Education and NDMA also attended the meeting.
 
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Cyclone Fani pounds Odisha coast, 2 killed; alert in Bengal

Two people were killed in Odisha after a severe tropical cyclone made landfall on the eastern coast of the country on Friday, with wind speed of up to 200 km per hour pounding the state's coastal region, massively damaging property and disrupting flight operations, communication, rail and road connectivity.
Trees uprooted and broken due to the impact of intense rainfall and gale wind accompanied by thunderstorm block a street in Puri, after extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani with wind speed touching nearly 200 kmph made a landfall on the eastern coast wreaking havoc in Odisha, on May 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Trees uprooted and broken due to the impact of intense rainfall and gale wind accompanied by thunderstorm block a street in Puri, after extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani with wind speed touching nearly 200 kmph made a landfall on the eastern coast wreaking havoc in Odisha, on May 3, 2019. (Photo: IANS)
Two people were killed in Odisha after a severe tropical cyclone made landfall on the eastern coast of the country on Friday, with wind speed of up to 200 km per hour pounding the state's coastal region, massively damaging property and disrupting flight operations, communication, rail and road connectivity.
 
The cyclone Fani was set to cross several districts in Odisha before advancing to the neighbouring West Bengal. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was campaigning in Rajasthan's Hindaun, near Jaipur, said the Centre stood with the people hit by the cyclone. "I want to assure the families affected by the cyclone that we are with them at this point of hour. We have collected fresh updates from the officials and had released a fund of Rs 1,000 crore for relief work on Thursday."
 
In Odisha, about 10,000 villages and 52 Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) were likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm. The state has activated an emergency helpline number -- +91674253417 -- for Cyclone Fani.
 
The two deaths in Odisha were reportedly caused by falling trees, authorities said. 
 
The airports in Odisha and West Bengal have been shut down, resulting in the cancellation of many flights. Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has directed his Ministry officials to continuously monitor the situation.
 
The Indian Railway has cancelled 223 trains in the Bhadrak-Vizianagaram section along the coastal lines of Odisha on the Kolkata-Chennai route till May 4, officials said.
 
The Assam government too has sounded an alert following a warning of the cyclone hitting the state and other parts of the northeastern region in the early hours of Saturday. The cyclone is also expected to affect the regular pattern of weather conditions in some parts of Nepal, weather officials said.
 
In Odisha, widespread damages to property have been reported as thousands of trees and electricity poles were uprooted under the impact of the cyclonic storm which made its landfall in Puri.
 
The trail of destruction could be seen in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri. There was no electricity in Bhubaneswar since morning. 
 
The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) unit in Bhubaneswar reported extensive damage hours after the cyclone made its landfall. The institute also cancelled a post graduate examination scheduled to be held on May 5.
 
As per reports, the tourists who were stuck in Puri were fleeced by the bus operators for a ride to a safer place after rail and air connectivity was snapped in the region.
 
The Army, Navy and Air Force were keeping a strict vigil on the developments in the coastal region. J. P. Sharma, a top official of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), said, "The actual work will start once the storm passes over, leaving behind the destruction in its path."
 
The cyclone started crossing into the Odisha coast close to Puri between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. The process of the landfall continued till 1 p.m, completely throwing normal life out of gear. 
 
About a million people were evacuated to safer places in Odisha due to the cyclonic storm. The met department said that heavy rainfall will continue across the state.
 
Three Indian Navy warships -- Sahyadri, Ranvir and Kadmatt -- have been put on stand-by with relief materials and medical teams.
 
Other naval vessels were also kept on stand-by at Visakhapatnam from where teams of naval divers have been moved to Odisha.
 
Meanwhile, heavy rainfall lashed Kolkata and the Gangetic West Bengal after cyclone Fani made its landfall. The cyclone with a wind speed of 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph was expected to hit the state on Friday midnight or early Saturday.
 
The cyclone was located over 400 km southwest of Kolkata and over 350 km southwest of Digha, the sea resort in East Midnapore district.
 
"The outer ring cloud band has already reached the coastal areas of West Bengal and Kolkata, prompting rainfall. The rain intensity will be gradually increasing. As the cyclone comes closer to Bengal, it will have a speed of 80-100 kmph," weatherman J.K. Mukhopadhyay said.
 
Six teams of NDRF have been deployed in Jhargram, West Medinipur, East Medinipur, South 24 Parganas and North 24 Parganas districts.
 
The state government and the Kolkata Municipal Corporation have decided to shift people living in low lying areas to safer places. A toll-free helpline number, 1070, has been shared for assistance.
 
The cyclone also triggered heavy rains in parts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, while gusty winds uprooted trees and electricity poles there, officials said.
 
Under its impact, gusty winds with speed reaching up to 140 kmph lashed the coastal area of Srikakulam district, where about 20,000 people have been shifted to 126 relief camps. Nine NDRF teams were deployed in the district. 
 
The heavy rains could also cause Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers to overflow, leading to floods in the region, officials warned.
 
Heavy downpour also lashed Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, two other districts in the north coastal Andhra, since Thursday.
 
Many trains and flights to and from the state have been cancelled.
 
IANS

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Cyclone Fani to make landfall in Odisha on Friday morning

At least one million people have been evacuated in the last 24 hours from the vulnerable districts in Odisha ahead of cyclone Fani's landfall in the state on Friday, officials said.
 
The cyclone was expected to make landfall between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the south of Puri.
 
According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Fani, which has turned into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, laid centred about 110 km away from Puri at 4.30 a.m.
 
It is very likely to cross between Gopalpur and Chandabali close to Puri with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph, gusting to 200 kmph in the Friday forenoon, the IMD said.
 
The cities of Puri, Paradip, Bhubaneswar, Gopalpur experienced light to moderate rain since Thursday night and early Friday morning.
 
Strong winds measuring up to 174 kmph lashed Chilika, leading to the uprooting of trees.
 
The highest number of people -- 3 lakh -- were evacuated from Ganjam district while 1.3 lakh others from Puri district, said an official from the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office.
 
About 10,000 villages and 52 towns are likely to be affected by the cyclonic storm.
 
The state government has advised people not to step out of their houses. 
 
As a precautionary measure, all shops, business establishments, private and government offices will remain closed in 11 coastal districts.
 
Flight operations were suspended in Bhubaneswar's Biju Patnaik Airport from Friday midnight.
 
Meanwhile, Cyclone Fani has triggered heavy downpour coupled with squall in coastal Odisha.
 
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Extremely severe cyclone likely to cross Odisha coast near Puri on May 3

The extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani, over westcentral Bay of Bengal, was very likely to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri, during the afternoon of May 3, the India Meteorological Department said on Wednesday.
A scene in  Odisha as cyclone Fani in the  Bay of Bengal intensified and was likely to cross the coast near Puri on May 3. (Photo: IANS/PIB)
A scene in Odisha as cyclone Fani in the Bay of Bengal intensified and was likely to cross the coast near Puri on May 3. (Photo: IANS/PIB)
The extremely severe cyclonic storm, Fani, over westcentral Bay of Bengal, was very likely to cross the Odisha coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri, during the afternoon of May 3, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said here today.
 
In a bulletin issued at 2030 hours IST, the IMD issued a cyclone warning for the coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal and Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram and Visakhapatnam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
 
It said Fani, pronounced as Foni, had moved north-northeastwards with a speed of about 13 kmph in the previous six hours and lay centred at 1730 hrs IST today near latitude 14.9°N and longitude 84.1°E, about 570 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha), 320 km south-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 760 km south-southwest of Digha (West Bengal). 
 
"It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross Odisha Coast between Gopalpur and Chandbali, around Puri during 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind speed of 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph," the bulletin said.
 
The cyclone is being tracked by Doppler Weather Radars Chennai, Vishakhapatnam and Machilipatnam,
 
The bulletin said light to moderate rainfall would occur at most places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh on May 2, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy places (>20 cm) at isolated places. There could also be heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places on May 3.
 
In south coastal Odisha, there will be light to moderate rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places, on May 2.
 
"It is likely to increase with moderate rainfall at most places and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls (>20 cm) at isolated places over coastal Odisha and adjoining districts of interior Odisha on 3rd. Light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at isolated places over north Odisha on 4th May," it said.
 
There could be light to moderate rainfall at most places over coastal and adjoining districts of West bengal, with heavy falls at isolated places on May 3 and heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated palces over Gangetic West Bengal on May 4.
 
The bulletin said there could be light to moderate rainfall at most places with heavy falls at isolated places over sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on May 4. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya will also receive light to moderate rainfall at most palces with heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places, it said.
 
The bulletin said gale winds, with speed reaching 180-190 kmph, gusting to 210 kmph, were very likely to prevail over westcentral Bay of Bengal around the system centre during the next 24 hours and decrease thereafter.
 
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"Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely to commence along & off north Andhra Pradesh & Odisha Coasts from 2nd May morning and become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from 2nd May night. It is very likely to become 170-180 kmph gusting to 200 kmph along & off south Odisha & adjoining north Andhra Pradesh (Srikakulam District) coasts; and 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph along & off remaining districts coastal Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh (Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram Districts) by 3rd May noon for subsequent 12 hours and decrease thereafter.
 
"Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph is very likely along & off West Bengal coast on 2nd May. It would become gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 85 kmph from 3rd May evening and become 90-100 kmph gusting to 115 kmph from 4th May early morning for subsequent 12 hours and decrease thereafter," it said.
 
The bulletin said the sea condition was phenomenal over westcentral Bay of Bengal, off north Andhra Pradesh coasts till May 3 and over northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha and West Bengal during May 2-4.
 
It said sea conditions were very likely to be very rough to high off north Tamilnadu, Puducherry, along and off south Andhra Pradesh coasts till May 3
 
The bulletin said storm surge of about 1.5 meter height above astronomical tide was very likely to inundate low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur Districts of Odisha at the time of landfall.
 
Fishermen were advised not to venture into deep sea areas and those out in deep sea in the above aeas were advised to return to the coasts.
 
The bulletin said the cyclone could cause extensive damage to kutcha houses and old pucca and badly managed pucca structures in Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha.
 
It said there could be extensive uprooting of communication and  power poles. There could also be disruption of rail and road links and extensive damage to standing crops, plantations and orchards. Large boats and ships may get torn from their moorings.
 
The IMD suggested total suspension of fishing operations, extensive evacuation of people from coastal areas, and diversion or suspension of rail and road traffic. People in affected areas have been advised to remain indoors.
 
The cyclone could also cause damage, on a lesser scale, in Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Balasore districts of Odisha and east and west Medinipur, south and north 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hoogli, Kolkata districts of West Bengal and Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh, the bulletin added.
 
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One coach of Dhauli Express derails near Panskura, no injuries reported

A coach of the 12821 Howrah-Puri Dhauli Express got derailed between Bhogpur and Panskura stations in the Purba Medinipur district of West Bengal this morning but none of the passengers was injured, official sources said
 
The derailment occurred at about 7.10 am when one wheel of the AC Chair Car (D3), sixth from the engine, got derailed on the middle line of the section in Kharagpur division of South Eastern Railway. The  Up and Down lines were unaffected and free, the sources said.
 
Panskura is located about  67 km from Howrah in West Bengal and 416 km from Puri in Odisha.
 
The guard of the train had reported that there were no injuries to any passengers, the sources said, adding that senior railway officials had left for the spot.
 
Arrangements were being made to detach the affected coach  and run the rest of the train soon, they said. Passengers of the derailed coach would be adjusted in other coaches.
 
"The front and rear portions of the train will be amalgamated at Panskura station very shortly. Passengers of D3 coach will be suitably adjusted in other coaches. Passengers will be served tea and snacks at Panskura. General Manager of South Eastern Railway P. S. Mishra is personally monitoring the situation from the control room," the  sources added.
 
The Railways have set up the following helplines: 
 
Howrah Station 03326377197
Kharagpur:  03222255897 & 03222255751
Balasore: 06782265767
 
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21 dead, 97 injured as 14 coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening.
 
21 dead as Utkal Express derails in UP
At least 21 passengers died and 97 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, yesterday evening.
 
Northern Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma told NetIndian over the telephone that 26 of the injured passengers had suffered grievous injuries while 71 had minor injuries.
 
Rescue and relief teams have completed the search for victims in the affected coaches and railway officials were now working to restore normal traffic on the route. "We hope to restore traffic on the line by 7 pm today," Mr. Sharma said.
 
Mr. Sharma said two of the derailed coaches had been re-railed and efforts were on to re-rail the other affected coaches at the earliest.
 
Senior Northern Railway officials, including the General Manager and the Additional General Manager, were at the scene of the tragedy, overseeing the restoration works as well as the relief operations.
 
Official sources said five coaches at the rear of the ill-fated train were taken to Khatauli station at little after midnight last night, while five coaches at the front were taken to Mansurpur.
 
Some of the seriously injured were referred to hospitals in Meerut and Delhi, the sources said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm yesterday, and affected the eighth coach from the  engine and those behind it.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track. Cranes were requisitioned to bring it down and to lift the capsized coaches.
 
Gas cutters were used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances from government and private hospitals as well as charity organisations were deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
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The Railways rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment. Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Today's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to yesterday's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
Senior railway officials of the Delhi Division, and staff and officers from nearby stations rushed to the scene as soon as news of the accident was received.
 
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late last night.
 
The train had left Puri on Friday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm yesterday, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan also rushed to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- had been sent to the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.50 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
  
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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19 dead, 60 injured as 14 coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 19 passengers died and 60 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Saturday evening.
 
19 dead as Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derails
At least 19 passengers died and 60 others suffered injuries when 14 of the 23 coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
Northern Railway spokesman Neeraj Sharma told NetIndian over the telephone that the number of casualties could go up as the rescue and relief teams complete searching of the worst-affected coaches. He said several of the injured had been discharged after first aid at nearby hospitals.
 
However, the seriously injured were referred to hospitals in Meerut and Delhi, sources said.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, he said and affected the eighth coach from the  engine and those behind it.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track. Cranes were requisitioned to bring it down and to lift the capsized coaches.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances from government and private hospitals as well as charity organisations had been deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Railways have rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment. Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Tomorrow's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to today's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late into the night.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
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Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan also rushed to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- had been sent to the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.50 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated and diverted various trains.
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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13 dead, 58 injured as ten coaches of Utkal Express derail near Muzaffarnagar in UP

At least 13 passengers died and 58 others suffered injuries when ten coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday evening.
 
13 dead as Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derails
At least 13 passengers died and 58 others suffered injuries when ten coaches of the 18477 Utkal Express, from Puri in Odisha to Haridwar in Uttarakhand, derailed at Khatauli, about 25 km from Muzzafarnagar, in Uttar Pradesh, this evening.
 
The mishap occurred around 5.46 pm today, railway sources said, but said details of casualties were not immediately available.
 
However, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan, who was among those who reached the spot to oversee rescue and releif efforts, told a television channel that 13 people had died and 58 others had been taken to nearby hospitals.
 
Mr. Baliyan said efforts were being made to shift the seriously injured to Meerut and New Delhi.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the coaches had climbed on to the top of another coach, and one of its ends had crashed into a building on the side of the track.
 
Gas cutters were being used to cut through the mangled steel to pull out those trapped inside the coaches. More than 60 ambulances had been deployed to take the injured to hospitals.
 
"Our focus right now is on rescue and relief operations. Officers and staff from the nearby railway stations have reached the spot," Ministry of Railways spokesman Anil Saxena told journalists in New Delhi.
 
Scores of local people joined the district administration, police and other emergency services personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.
 
The Railways have rushed medical vans from Delhi and Saharanpur and an accident relief team from Ambala to the scene of the derailment.
 
Arrangements were being made for buses to clear the stranded passengers from the site.
 
Various sources said that some workers were carrying out maintenance work on the track before the ill-fated train crossed the spot, and that the driver of the speeding train was not made aware of this in time.
 
As a consequence of the accident, the Railways have cancelled, short-terminated or diverted some trains. Tomorrow's 18478 Haridwar-Puri Kalinga Utkal Express has been cancelled due to today's derailment.
 
Khatauli is located on the Meerut-Saharanpur section of the Delhi Division of Northern Railway, about 115 km from Delhi.
 
"We have geared up our rescue and relief machinery. Senior officials of Delhi Division have rushed to the accident site. Staff and officers from the nearby stations have already reached there," Mr. Saxena said.
 
He said personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) had also reached the site and massive search and rescue operations continued till late into the night.
 
The train had left Puri yesterday and was due to reach Haridwar at 9 pm today, they said.
 
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Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on micro-blogging site Twitter that he was personally monitoring the situation and had instructed senior officers to reach the spot immediately and ensure speedy rescue and relief operations. He said medical vans had been rushed to the site of the accident.
 
"Have instructed Chairman Rly Board, Member Traffic to oversee rescue and relief operations. I am personally monitoring situation," he said. "Instructed General Manager, other senior officers to ensure all possible help to the people."
 
"In close touch with @CMOfficeUP , State Government officials, district administration to coordinate rescue and relief operations," he said.
 
Mr. Prabhu said he had instructed the Member, Engineering of the Railway Board, the Director General, Health and other senior officers to rush to the scene.
 
"Have ordered inquiry into the unfortunate accident to ascertain the cause. Strict action will be taken against any lapse," he added.
 
Mr. Prabhu said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and Minister of State for Water Resources Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan were on their way to the scene of the accident.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath told journalists that two State Ministers -- Satish Mahana and Suresh Rana -- have also left for the spot.
 
The Ministry of Railways announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 3.5 lakh for the next-of-kin of those killed in the accident, Rs. 50,000 for the seriously injured and Rs. 25,000 for those with minor injuries.
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the loss of lives in the accident. "Extremely pained by the derailment of the Utkal Express in Muzaffarnagar. My thoughts are with the families of the deceased," he said on Twitter.
 
"I wish those injured a speedy recovery. The situation is being monitored very closely by the Railways Ministry," he said.
 
"Railways Ministry & UP Government are doing everything possible & providing all assistance required in the wake of the train derailment," he added.
 
The Railways have set up the following helpline numbers for the benefit of the passengers and their relatives:
 
Muzaffarnagar Railway Station: 0131-2433099
Delhi Railway Station: 011-23962389/23967332
New Delhi: 011-23342954/23341074
Nizamuddin: 011-24239748
Ghaziabad: 09412715210
Haridwar: 9760534054, 01334227477/4227478/4227479/4227480
Moradabad: 05912420324
Roorkee: 9760534056
Bhubaneswar: 9674-2301525, 2301625, 203060, 2492611, 2534027, 845885936
Cuttack: 0671-2200568
Puri: 06752-226717, 1072
 
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Sand artist Sudarshan Patnaik bats for Arctic 30

A view of the sand art created by artist Sudarshan Patnaik in support of the 30 Greenpeace activists arrested by Russian authorities in the Arctic, in Puri on November 8, 2013.Read story.
A view of the sand art created by artist Sudarshan Patnaik in support of the 30 Greenpeace activists arrested by Russian authorities in the Arctic, in Puri on November 8, 2013.
Read story.A view of the sand art created by artist Sudarshan Patnaik in support of the 30 Greenpeace activists arrested by Russian authorities in the Arctic, in Puri on November 8, 2013.

We have to improve our death bowling: Dhoni

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni stressed the importance of death bowling after Chennai Super Kings stole a thriller against Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) here tonight.

"The performance was great, we need to improve our death bowling drastically. We didn't get off to a good start, the pressure was there on the middle order. You can't really afford to play too many dot balls, you have to be there till the 15th or 16th over to cash in," said Dhoni.
 
Man of the Match Ravindra Jadeja, who nowadays is ridiculed as Sir Jadeja on the social media, said he was not trying to play silly shots.
 
"(With reference to Sir) they are just making fun in a lighter way, not a serious way. I was confident about my batting, I scored two triple-hundreds this season. I was not trying to play any silly shots, it was a good wicket," he said.
 
Royal Challengers skipper Virat Kohli said his team lost the match in the last six over.
 
"It was our game to lose in the last six overs. We are relying on big partnership as of now, a few small partnerships will do good for us. RP, T20 is a game like that, I'm still proud of him," he said.
 
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Man accused of 1992 murder of Indian family in Dubai sentenced to death

A CBI court in Ahmedabad has convicted Ravjibhai Manubhai Pawar of the murder of his Indian employer and four other members of his family in Dubai in 1992 and sentenced him to death.

A press release from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said that its investigations had shown that Pawar, while working as a domestic servant in Dubai, had kileld Mr Ramesh K Sagar and four others of Mr Sagar's family on January 4, 1992.

He was also accused of rape and of stealing household articles, including clothes, ornaments and cash.

Pawar feld from Dubai on January 5 and came to India. On the basis of an Interpol alert, he was nabbed on January 10 by the Gujarat police and a first information report (FIR)was registered.

Since the accused was an Indian national and the offence took place outside India, the case was entrusted to the CBI. The Dubai Police had also registered an FIR and collected evidence, which was used by the CBI during investigation and trial of the case, the release said.

The chargesheet was filed on January 23, 1992 in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Chikhli. The trial court found him guilty and convicted him.

The case was registered by the CBI, Ahmedabad (now Gandhinagar) Branch on April 27, 1992 on the basis of the request and consent of the Government of Gujarat for futher investigation of the case filed at the Chikhli Police Station, the release added.

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HC directs Orissa govt not to shift seized silver slabs from Mutt


The Orissa High Court today directed the state government not to shift the seized silver slabs from Puri Emar Mutt.


Adjudicating over a writ filed by the Mahanta of the Mutt, a single- judge bench of Justice M M Das also directed the government to deploy adequate security in and around the Mutt for the safety of the valuables recovered from a closed room inside the Mutt premises during the course of a police investigation last month.


The judge also called for the case diaries of two police cases registered in this connection at Dhenkanal and Puri districts, and posted the case to be heard on April 4.


In a joint raid as a follow-up to a theft case investigation, Dhenkanal and Puri police on February 26 last stumbled upon at least 522 pieces of silver slabs, each weighing between 35-40 kg, stacked in a wooden box. The current market value of the seized metal slabs is estimated to be over Rs 80 crore.


Mahanta Rajgopal Ramanuja Das of the Emar Mutt had moved the high court and claimed that the hidden treasures belonged to the "Mutt". He also claimed that as per the provisions of Hindu Religious Endowment Act the riches should be kept in the account of the Mutt on being pledged to the state endowment commissioner.


He alleged that the state government was trying to stake its claim over the seized treasures and prayed that the valuables should be put under a public auction and the realised amount should be kept as fixed deposit in the name of the Mutt after deduction of any legally chargeable taxes to the Government.


The petitioner alleged that Revenue Divisional Commissioner (Central Range), who is also the chief administrator of Jagannath Temple, was trying to remove the property from the Mutt premises using his official powers.


He further stated that although the police had seized the property and kept it under their own custody inside the Mutt premises, police had failed to provide a seizure list to the Mutt.


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Railways introduce new weekly express between Valsad and Puri

The Western Railway today said a new weekly express train would be introduced between Valsad in Gujarat and Puri in Orissa from tomorrow.


The train 12583 Valsad-Puri Weekly Express will depart from Valsad at 19.35 hrs on every Thursday and arrive Puri at 10.35 hrs on Saturday.

Similarly, train 12584 Puri-Valsad Weekly Express will depart from Puri at 05.25 hrs on every Sunday and arrive Valsad at 19.50 hrs on Monday.

This train will halt at Surat, Vadodara, Dahod, Ratlam, Ujjain, Maksi, Bhopal, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Katni, Shahdol, Anuppur, Bilaspur, Champa, Sambalpur City, Angul, Talcher Road, Dhenakanal, Bhubaneshwar and Khurda Road in both the directions.

This train will consists of II AC, III AC, Second Sleeper Class and General II class coaches, a Western Railway press release said.

This train will be inaugurated by Minister of State for Railways Bharatsinh Solanki at a function to be held at the Vadodara railway station


In its inaugural run, this train will run as 02583 and will depart from Valsad on Saturday, 12th February, 2011 at 15.00 hrs, reaching Surat at 16.03 hrs and Vadodara at 17.50 hrs. It will reach Puri at 08.50 hrs on Monday, 14th February, 2011.

The booking of the inaugural train and the regular train service will start from Saturday, 12th February, 2011.


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