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In its 9 p.m. bulletin, the Cyclone Warning Division of the IMD said the storm currently lay about 620 km east-northeast off Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, 770 km east-southeast off Chennai and 900 km south-southeast off Machilipatnam. “The Cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ (pronounced as Foni) over Southeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 16 kilometres per hour in the last six hours, intensified into a severe cyclonic storm.

“It is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and into an extremely severe cyclonic storm during the subsequent 24 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards till May 1 evening and thereafter recurve north-northeastwards towards the Odisha coast,” the bulletin said.

The National Crisis Management Committee on Monday assured the State governments concerned of all assistance from the Central government.The NDRF and the Coast Guard have been put on high alert and the fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea as the cyclone is expected to intensify into a ‘very severe storm’ by Tuesday, the Home Ministry said.

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