Cyclone Gulab begun its landfall process over south coastal Odisha and adjoining north coastal Andhra Pradesh on Sunday evening.
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The process will continue for the next three hours, said Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha Pradeep Jena.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the system is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur as a cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 75-85 kmph gusting maximum upto 96 kmph during the next three hours, he said.
The cyclone will make landfall between Tekali and Moriguda in Andhrapradesh which is 25 km away from Kalingapatnam.
Under the effect of the cyclone, Gajapati district is currently experiencing low to medium rainfall and a wind speed of 30-40 kmph. However, other parts of the State are not witnessing much rain or wind.
“So far, 16000 people including 600 pregnant women, elderly people and divyangs have been evacuated from several parts of the State to safer lications,” Jena said.
“Most of the people are reluctant to be evacuated as the cyclone has not affected the State much so far,” he added.
However, he cautioned people to be careful untill the completion of the landfall.
“The cyclone will most likely cross the State by tomorrow afternoon. Hence people should be careful till then,” he said.
Keeping in mind the likely impact of the cyclone, schools and educational institutions in 11 districts of Odisha will remain closed on Monday (September 27).
According to the SRC, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the Collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal, Malkangiri, Khordha, Puri, Nayagarh and Kalahandi to shut schools and other educational institutions tomorrow.
The East Coast Railway (ECoR) has also cancelled as many as 28 trains in view of the cyclonic storm.