Fani is heading north-northwest in the Bay of Bengal towards India's Odisha state. The storm is generating maximum sustained winds of 157 kph, according to the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Cyclone Fani is expected to intensify into an “extremely severe” storm in the next 24 hours as it heads toward the coast of the eastern Indian state of Odisha, the India Meteorological Department said.
The storm is currently in the Bay of Bengal about 690 km east-southeast of Chennai and moved north-northwest at a speed of 16 km per hour over the past six hours, the office said.
Fani is generating maximum sustained winds of about 157 kph, according to a storm advisory from the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
India's Met Office has forecast heavy rainfall in Odisha and in some parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh in the next few days.
The Odisha state government has asked officials to be alert and evacuate people if the storm intensifies and makes landfall in the state, Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner, told Reuters.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked his officials and the National Crisis Management Committee to stay in touch with the states at risk from Cyclone Fani, a government statement said.
Separately, the weather office also forecasts thunder squalls over the state of Tamil Nadu and the federally administered area of Puducherry over the next five days.
At least 60 people were killed in lightning strikes and by collapsing houses during a thunderstorm across northern and western India earlier this month.
The country is currently in the middle of a seven-phase general election.