AP, Odisha, Bengal brace for cyclone

AP, Odisha, Bengal brace for cyclone

The low pressure in the Bay of Bengal which turned into a deep depression on Wednesday is likely to wreak havoc on north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, while Kolkata is also bracing for worst weather in the latter part of the week despite enjoying a dry weather.

The depression, called Cyclone Phalin  is likely to develop into a severe cyclonic storm and hit the land between Kalingapatanam, Andhra Pradesh and Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha.

As a preparatory measure, Odisha government on Wednesday cancelled Dasara holidays for all its employees and officials posted in 14 districts of the state’s southern and coastal regions, besides issuing a cyclone alert. It is feared that the 14 districts will be worst hit if the storm were to cross the Odisha coast.

 Odisha’s revenue and disaster management minister Surya Narayan Patra chaired a high-level review meeting at the state secretariat, said district Collectors have also been directed to take all possible steps to handle the situation, including keeping the cyclone and flood shelters ready in their respective districts.

“The Collectors have been instructed to start the ‘mock drill’ from today itself”, the minister said, adding that teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force have started to move to various critical points where the cyclone is likely to hit.
Special Relief Commissioner, Pradipta Mohapatra, who was also present at the high-level meeting, said the mobile service providers in the state had been asked to keep their emergency plan ready to repair the mobile towers on war footing if necessary.

“We need to restore the communication system as early as possible in case of an emergency”, the senior bureaucrat said. Nearly 50 satellite phones were given to Collectors after the 1999 Super Cyclone.

The Local Met office in Odisha said  the system, which had already turned into a deep depression was centred about 950 kms off the Paradip coast by Wednesday evening and is likely to hit land on Oct 12 with wind speeds of about 175-185 kmph.

According to the regional meteorological department at Alipore in south Kolkata, if it moves closer towards coastal Bengal, Kolkata and the rest of south Bengal would receive heavy to very heavy rainfall through October 13 and 14, spoiling the last three days of the Puja celebrations.

 Down in coastal Andhra the rain is likely to add to the woes of people who have already seen a blackout and shut down of services due to protests on the state’s bifurcation.

Heavy rain is expected to lash the north coastal districts under the influence of Cyclone Phailin. The cyclone warning centre at Visakhapatnam has directed the fishermen to return to coast and not venture into the sea till further notice. All minor and major ports along the coast were also put on port warning.

Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy asked the Power sector officials to be on high alert since the cyclone could possibly cause disruptions. He also asked officials concerned to ensure evacuation of people in the disaster areas to safer places.

Commissioner, Disaster Management Dr T Radha cited an IMD Bulletin that said the depression over North Andaman Sea moved north-westward with a speed of 13 kmph during the last 6 hours, intensified into a deep depression.

As a precautionary measure, round the clock Control Room has been opened in Revenue (DM) Department in the Secretariat premises.

Collectors of all nine Coastal Districts have already been alerted regarding the IMD's Pre-cyclone watch bulletin and have been instructed to open control rooms in all vulnerable areas. 

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