Met Dept issues cyclone threat, Odisha on high alert

Bhubaneswar: The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned a cyclonic storm in Odisha coast in the next 72 hours as the deep depression formed over North Andaman Sea today moved westward and lay centred over north Andaman Sea.

The latest IMD bulletin said the system has been formed close to Mayabandar and 1070km east-southeast of Paradip.

“The system would move west-northwestwards and cross Andaman Island close to Mayabandar within next few hours. It would intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hours and continue to move west- northwestwards for some time and then northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by night of 12th October as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph,” the bulletin read.

According to the weathermen, under the influence of the system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places would occur over Andaman and Nicobar Islands during next 24 hrs.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has asked the concerned officials of 14 coastal districts to remain alert to meet any eventuality.

The districts where maximum alert has been issued are Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati.

"The Revenue department also decided to deploy Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams in these 14 districts from October 10," said revenue minister Surya Narayan Patro. The minister also directed that a mock drill of ODRAF and fire personnel be held.

The Odisha government on Tuesday asked the Union Home Ministry to keep helicopters ready for rescue and relief operations.

"Prediction as of now indicates that the system may make landfall on October 12," said Special Relief Commissioner Pradip Kumar Mohapatra.

"Depending on the situation, the state government may require the assistance of defence forces especially the Indian Air Force for rescue and relief operations by air," Mohapatra said.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority have been requested to make advance arrangements to keep in readiness IAF helicopters and NDRF personnel at short notice, he said.