Fani intensified into a cyclone on 27th April 2019. On 3rd May, it took the form of a very severe Tropical Cyclone (Category 4), with an estimated maximum sustained surface wind speed of 175-185 km/h gusting to 210 km/h crossing Odisha coast. While the cyclone made a landfall at Puri at 8:12 am on the 3rd of May, the storm crossed Bhubaneswar four hours later at around 12:10 pm. After severely hitting the capital city of Odisha for around three and a half hours, the cyclone proceeded north along the coast towards Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj district, before entering into West Bengal.In the hours prior to the Cyclone, nearly 1.2 million people have been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas of at least 11 coastal districts while the evacuees have been accommodated in over 4,000 shelters, including 880 specially designed cyclone centres. 14 districts have been affected by Fani namely- Angul, Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Khordha, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh and Puri.
According to Government sources, as of 9th of May, 159 blocks, 51 ULBs, 16,659 villages were affected, with a total population of 1,50,93,513. So far, 41 human casualties have been reported. Further, huge damage has been reported to public infrastructure including roads, telecom and KV towers, health facilities, schools. Crops have been heavily damaged in all the affected districts of Odisha as well as fishing boats and nets, leading to loss of livelihoods for people dependent on agriculture and fishing.
The State has witnessed seven major cyclones in the last 50 years. In 1999, Odisha was hit by the strongest recorded tropical cyclone in the North Indian Ocean, categorised as a ‘super cyclonic storm’, with an estimated maximum wind speed up to 260-270 kmph in the core area. The 1999 super-cyclone claimed about 10,000 lives and affected the lives of about 1.29 crore people. On 12th October 2013, Cyclone Phailin hit the coast of Odisha near Gopalpur in Ganjam district, affecting about 13.2 million people in 171 blocks in 18 Districts of the state, and resulting in 44 human casualties. The damage caused by the cyclone was due to the unprecedented wind velocity of up to 220 kmph.