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Cyclone Fani: Special Trains, Buses to Evacuate Pilgrims, Tourists from Puri

Cyclone Fani: Special Trains, Buses to Evacuate Pilgrims, Tourists from Puri

All the special trains will have stoppages at Khurda Road, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Jajpur Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Baleswar and Kharagpur.

With extremely severe cyclonic storm 'Fani' likely to cross the coastal areas of Odisha on Friday, the South Eastern Railway (SER) on Thursday started two more special trains to evacuate tourists and visitors to return from the pilgrim town of Puri to Howrah in West Bengal.

The Puri district administration is engaged in evacuating tourists from the town.

The first special train was scheduled to run from Puri at noon, while the second train departs from the temple town for Howrah at 3:00 PM. There is another special train which will leave for Bengal in the evening at 6:00 PM.

All the special trains will have stoppages at Khurda Road, Bhubaneshwar, Cuttack, Jajpur Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Baleswar and Kharagpur.

Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) has arranged five buses for tourists to return from Puri to ahead of Cyclone Fani's anticipated landfall tomorrow.

On Thursday the Indian Railways also cancelled 43 trains scheduled to run between Howrah and Puri, and other destinations in south India over the next two days.

According to a forecast by the MeT office, heavy-to-very heavy rainfall may occur in the coastal districts of Odisha and West Bengal on Friday.

The SER has cancelled 17 trains bound for south India and Puri. It has also decided to cancel 26 trains originating from south India, an SER official said.

It has also taken precautionary measures to keep their passengers safe by carrying out special patrolling.

In addition, breakdown vans and relief trains have been kept ready to cater to areas likely to be affected by the cyclone in the two states, the official said.

SER is also in touch with the local authorities and disaster management teams.

Separately, the East Coast Railway has issued an advisory for cancellation or regulating trains in areas which are likely to be affected by Fani.

There will be no movement of trains in the Bhadrak-Bhubaneswar-Puri-Visakhapatnam section at the time when the cyclonic storm is scheduled to pass the Odisha coast.

The West Bengal government has made elaborate precautionary arrangements to tackle the situation effectively, an official said.

An alert has been sounded in all coastal districts and people living in the coastal areas along with tourists have been asked to leave and go to safer places, the official said.

Fishermen, who have gone to the mid-sea, have been asked to return immediately, sources at the West Bengal secretariat said.