Cyclonic storm ‘Roanu’ moves closer to Odisha coast

Bhubaneswar: The cyclonic storm ‘Roanu’ over west-central Bay of Bengal today advanced further and remained practically stationary and lay centred about 480 km southwest of Gopalpur at 5.30 PM.

The system is likely to move initially towards north-northeast along and off Andhra Pradesh coast during next 12 hours after which it will move towards northeast and likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by tonight and cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar in the night on May 21 and early morning on the next day as a cyclonic storm.

Under its influence, rain or thundershower would occur at most places over South Odisha and at many places over North Odisha during next 24 hours.

Besides, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places over South Odisha and heavy rainfall at one or two places over North Odisha on May 19.

Heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places over coastal Odisha and heavy to very heavy rainfall at one or two places over interior Odisha on May 20.

In view of the approaching cyclone, distant warning signal number-II has been hoisted at all ports in the state.

The Met department has advised the fishermen not to venture into the sea as gusty surface wind speed from south-easterly direction in South Odisha coast and southerly direction in North Odisha coast reaching 45-50 kmph with gusting to 55 kmph would make the sea condition very rough from the night of May 19 till next morning on May 20.

Meanwhile, rainfall was recorded in some parts of coastal Odisha today with Bhubaneswar recording the highest rainfall at 17 mm followed by 6 mm each in Paradip and Puri, 4 mm in Gopalpur, 3 mm at Chandbali and 2.8 mm in Cuttack. In South Odisha, Koraput recorded 6 mm rainfall.

As part of its precautionary measures, the state government today 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, chief minister Naveen Patnaik asked them to direct the headmasters to remain at their schools to assist the people to take shelter during cyclone.

He also asked the collectors to ensure adequate stock of dry foods, drinking water and make provisions 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.

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