Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: The deep depression system over southeast Bay of Bengal (BoB) turned into a tropical cyclone Amphan (UM-PUN), the India Meteorological Department (IMD) informed in its latest bulletin.

As per the IMD bulletin, "The deep depression over SE- Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood remained practically stationary during past 6 hours and rapidly intensified into a cyclonic storm. It lay centred over the same region at 5.30 pm IST near 10.9 deg N latitude and 86.3 deg E longitude, about 1040 km south from Paradip near Odisha coast, 1200 km south-southwest of Digha and 1300 km south-southwest of Khepupara in Bangladesh."

The met office has predicted that the cyclonic storm is very likely to turn into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 12 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm by 5.30 am (IST) of May 18.

According to the Met office forecast, "The system is very likely to move north-northwestwards initially till May 17 and the re-curve north-northeastwards across northwest Bay of Bengal towards West Bengal and adjoining North Odisha coasts during May 18 to 20." It is likely to take 'very severe' form near Odisha coast.

The IMD has issued Orange Warning for Odisha suggesting that it should stay prepared for the cyclone. Coastal part of the State is likely to experience light to moderate rainfall at many places with heavy falls at isolated places from 18th May evening. While heavy to very heavy rainfall might occur at a few places on 19th May and isolated heavy rainfall over northeast Odisha on 20th May 2020.

Wind warning

Squally wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to commence along and off south Odisha coast from 18th evening, extent over to north Odisha coast from 19th morning and along and off West Bengal coast from 19th afternoon.

The wind speed will gradually increase becoming gale wind speed reaching 75 to 85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph from 20th morning along and off north Odisha and West Bengal coast. It will gradually increase thereafter.

Fishermen Warning

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha coast from 18th May onwards till further notice. Those who are out of the sea are advised to return to the coast by 17th May 2020.

In view of the cyclone, Odisha government has put its 12 coastal and adjoining districts on high alert. The districts which have been asked to remain prepared includes- Gajapati, Ganjam, Nayagarh, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Dhenkanal.

As per the predicted path of the cyclone, around 7 lakh people in 649 villages along the sea coast are likely to be severely affected. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has exhorted its State government machinery to ensure ‘Zero Casualty.’