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Sanjeev Kumar Patro

Bhubaneswar: The big breaking at this hour is the Bay of Bengal has conceived another cyclone after Fani.

And the significant fact is the intensity of cyclone will upgrade to 'severe' cyclonic storm by November 7.

While IMD bulletin says the system is now 950 km south-southeast from Paradip, it is 1020 km and 1000 km from Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Kheppura (Bangladesh), respectively, JTWC (Joint Typhoon Warning Centre) latest summary has also confirmed the depression to progressing into a cyclone in next 24 hours and move north-northwestwards.

The IMD bulletin has also predicted the tropical cyclonic system to move north-northwestwards towards Odisha-West Bengal coasts, IMD DG Mritunjaya Mahapatra says it may skip the Odisha coasts.

Regarding the intensity of the cyclone, IMD MD says it will upgrade into severe cyclone  by November 7. JTWC says the cyclone will intensify in next 72 hours (by Nov 7). It further said that the system has persistent deep convection. The sea surface temperature of 30-31 deg C and low-moderate vertical wind shear will aid its intensification, JTWC observed.

In the meantime, SRC Odisha, P K Jena, holding his first presser post IMD's confirmation of depression progressing into a cyclone, maintained that the cyclone may skip Odisha.

"IMD has made a forecast of light to moderate rainfall in Odisha, especially northern Odisha, from November 8,"  he added.

Meanwhile, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS), the ocean information services unit of Govt of India, in its latest wind model forecast maintained that the cyclone will be hitting Odisha coast at around 5:30 hours on November 10.

Significantly, its INCOIS, whose wind model has predicted from Wednesday last about the tropical disturbance progressing into a cyclone by Nov 9-10.

The ECWF's (European Centre for Weather Forecasts) latest forecast maintained that the tropical cyclone will hit Odisha coast on November 9-10. Like INCOIS, the predicted landfall area is Jagatsinghpur.

However, US met agency Global Forecast System's (GFS) latest forecast reiterated its yesterday observation, but with little modification.

The GFS forecast says the system will first move north-northwestwards towards Odisha, then drift away towards Bangladesh and then re-curve to cross southern Andhra Pradesh coast on November 14. Seemingly, a very peculiar forecast.

Because, such steep recurves are very very rare. Cyclonic systems mostly follow linear path. Instances of normal recurves are very few.

While it is still the early days to pin-point the path of cyclone, what looks disappointing is the approach of the SRC Office. During his media interaction, instead of taking the approach that Odisha is 24X7 ready to tackle any eventuality, the SRC's approach looks escapist.

"As IMD is saying cyclone 'may' skip Odisha, the danger doesn't lurks now over Odisha. The SRC then added if the cyclone changes its path, we have 2-days in hand.

As per NDMA guidelines, mobilisation and evacuation is possible within 48 hours of alert. But to mitigate flash floods due to heavy downpour in vulnerable areas, the SOP on checking canals, drains or surface tanks need to be activated at least before 96 hours.

This is what happened with Titli cyclone. IMD then has predicted the cyclone to make landfall at Gopalpur, but Titli winged up towards Palasa and post landfall entered Gajapati district. The administration there was caught unawares. And cyclone wrecked havoc in Gajapati and Ganjam.

The bottom line is still no lessons were learnt.  


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