Cyclone Phethai to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: The cyclonic storm Phethai formed over Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours, as per the latest bulletin of India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Though the cyclone is expected to cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machlipatnam and Kakinada by tomorrow, it is likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in several parts of Odisha from today.

IMD officials informed that isolated places in Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts will experience heavy rainfall from today while many places in Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Nuapada, Baragarh, Bolangir, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur district will receive rainfall on Monday.

The Cyclonic storm Phethai over southwest Bay of Bengal moved further north-northwestwards with a speed of 13 kmph during the last six hours and lay centred over southwest Bay of Bengal about 460 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 530 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 690 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

“There will be heavy to very heavy rainfall at isolated places in Odisha, south Chhattisgarh on December 16 and December 17,” added the IMD.

The IMD also warned the fishermen not to venture into deep sea areas of West Central and adjoining South West Bay of Bengal from today.

Joint Relief Commissioner, Prabhat Mohapatra said “The farmers have been instructed to store their ripe paddy. The district collectors have taken adequate measures to store the paddy at the mandis at safe places.”

Gajapati district collector, Anupam Saha said “We have disseminated information about ways to protect the crops and harvested paddy of the farmers.”

The farmers in Odisha have been advised to take necessary measures to protect their crops in view of the rain forecast.

Meanwhile, the farmers have expressed distress over rainfall damaging their crops.

“Cyclone Titli destroyed all our crops. Now when were expecting some harvest again, the prediction of rains have totally shattered our hopes,” a farmer of Gajapati district said.

Another farmer from Koraput said, “We harvested paddy, protected it from pests and covered it with polythene sheets. Now we heard that there will be rain for 2 to 3 days which is really disturbing for us.”