Cyclone Phethai: Cyclonic storm weakens but rains continue in Odisha

Rains continued to lash several parts of Odisha due to the impact of cyclone Phethai, said the India Meteorological Department

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NH Web Desk

Rains continued to lash several parts of Odisha on Tuesday, December 18, due to the impact of cyclone Phethai, said the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The IMD has forecast isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall in south Odisha and heavy rainfall in western region till Wednesday as the cyclonic storm weakened gradually.

"The depression over north coastal Andhra Pradesh moved in north-north-east direction and weakened into a well marked low pressure area and lay over north-west and adjoining west-central Bay of Bengal and Odisha Tuesday morning," Director of the Meteorological Centre, H R Biswas said.

It is likely to weaken further into a low pressure area during the next 12 hours, he said.

While inclement weather affected normal life in many parts of south and western Odisha, no casualty was reported, a senior official said, adding power supply was disrupted in some areas.

As many as 11,600 people were evacuated in Gajapati district even as houses ravaged by Cyclone Titli in October are yet to be fully repaired, a senior official at the Special Relief Commissioner’s (SRC) office said.

People from seven vulnerable blocks in Gajapati district have been accommodated in safer places.

The official said relief camps have been opened and evacuated people are being provided food and other essentials.

"We shifted the people because it is dangerous staying in half-constructed houses during the calamity," the official said.

Even though the cyclonic storm, which made landfall on the Andhra Pradesh coast on Monday, has weakened, many districts of Odisha have been experiencing heavy rainfall.

Joint Relief Commissioner Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra said Cotton crops have been damaged, the damage will be assessed by the govt. Assistance will be provided to affected people. It may rain at a few places, otherwise, everything will be clear in a day or a two,” according to a tweet by newsagency ANI.

Rainfall, accompanied by strong surface wind, lashed several parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada and Kalahandi districts, the Met office said.

Squally winds with speed reaching 40 kmph and gusting up to 50 kmph are likely to sweep South Odisha coast during the next 12 hours. Rainfall is likely to subside after Wednesday afternoon, it said.

Heeding the state government's advice, farmers in many parts of Odisha have taken precautionary measures to protect crops from the rain.

However, farmers still suffered considerable loss due to the rain which damaged standing paddy and cotton crops along with harvested paddy stocks stashed in open fields.

It also advised that fishermen do not to venture into the northwest region of the Bay of Bengal and along and off the Odisha coast in the next 12 hours, the bulletin said.

Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said that while Jharsuguda has recorded 75.3 mm of rain, Sambalpur has received 73.5 mm and Sundargarh 71.8 mm.

Sethi further said that adequate compensation will be disbursed from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) for the farmers based on the damage assessment report to be submitted by district collectors.

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