‘Roanu’ 50 km off Gopalpur; rains lash Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The cyclonic storm ‘Roanu’ formed over west-central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal inched closer towards Odisha coast and lay centred about 50 km south-southeast off the Gopalpur coast at 2.30 PM today, the Met office said this evening.

Under its influence, rain or thundershower lashed most places in Odisha with many places experiencing heavy rainfall.

A Met release this evening said most parts of coastal Odisha experienced heavy rainfall. The rainfall recorded between 8:30 AM and 5.30 PM was highest in Paradip with 96 mm followed by Puri (85), Chandbali (63), Balasore (52), Cuttack (31.8), Bhubaneswar (29.1) and Gopalpur (16).

Rainfall in these places recorded till 8.30 AM today was 27.2, 32, 32.3, 14, 9.2, 46 and 79 mm respectively.

According to Met department, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at a one or two places over Coastal parts of the state while heavy to very heavy is likely at one or two places over Interior Odisha during the next 48 hours.

Gusty surface wind speed from Southwesterly direction with speed reaching 90 to 100 kmph and gusting up to 110 kmph in South Odisha Coast and 60 to 70 KMPH gusting to 80 KMPH in North Odisha Coast would prevail along and off Odisha Coast but wind speed would increase towards afternoon today. Sea condition is very likely to be high to very high along and off Odisha coast .

The cyclone is expected to cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar by May 22 morning, a release issued by Met department said.

The cyclone is expected to cause damage to thatched huts, minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches and major damage to kutcha and minor damage to pucca roads over coastal Odisha, it said.

In view of the approaching cyclone, Danger Signal Number Five (DV-V) has replaced by Local Cautionary Signal Number Three (LC-III) at all ports in Odisha. The Met department has also advised fishermen not to venture into the sea.

Talking to OTV, director of regional meteorological centre Sarat Sahu said, “The cyclonic storm has been moving at a speed of 20 KMPH over the last six hours and lay centred 50 km away from Gopalpur at 2.30 pm today.”

“The cyclone is now moving in the east-northeast direction and will cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar either on May 21 evening. Under the influence of the cyclone, coastal parts of Odisha will experience heavy rainfall,” Sahu added.

As part of its precautionary measures, the state government on Thursday asked the collectors of 12 coastal districts to take all possible steps to tackle the approaching cyclone.

In a videoconferencing with the collectors of Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Kendrapara, Puri and Jagatsinghpur at the State Secretariat here yesterday, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has asked them to direct the headmasters to remain at their schools to provide shelter to the people during the cyclone.

He also asked the collectors to ensure adequate stock of dry food, drinking water and make provision for lighting and first-aid.

The chief minister directed the Revenue and Disaster Management department to keep the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Fire Brigade teams in readiness and deploy them in sensitive places.

He also asked the Public Health department to provide drinking water through tankers to the affected people in the areas where there is power failure.