Cyclone threat looms over east coast, Odisha on alert
A low-pressure area that has developed over the South Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and make its way to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha shores early next week
A low-pressure area that has developed over the South Andaman Sea is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and make its way to the Andhra Pradesh-Odisha shores early next week, officials said.
The weather system over the South Andaman Sea and the adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal is very likely to move north-westwards and strengthen into a depression by Saturday, the Met Department said.
It is likely to further intensify into a cyclonic storm by Sunday evening.
The weather office also warned of thunderstorms and heavy rainfall over the districts of Gangetic West Bengal between Tuesday and Friday next week in view of the likely formation of the cyclonic storm.
The Odisha government said disaster response and fire services teams were kept on standby following the forecast.
The region has witnessed cyclones in the last three summers -- Yaas' in 2021, Amphan' in 2020 and Fani' in 2019.
The low-pressure area is very likely to move north-westwards and intensify into a depression over the southeast Bay of Bengal, and into a cyclonic storm over the east-central Bay of Bengal, India Meteorological Department (IMD) Director-General Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.
It is likely to reach the coast on May 10, he said.
"We have not yet made any forecast on where it will make landfall. We have also not mentioned anything on the possible wind speed during the landfall," Mohapatra said.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said, We have requisitioned 17 teams of NDRF (National Disaster Response Force), 20 teams of ODRAF (Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force) and 175 teams of fire department personnel.
This apart, the NDRF authorities have been requested to reserve 10 more teams for any emergency.
Jena said the Indian Navy and Coast Guard have been put on alert to maintain a vigil on the movement of fishermen in the sea.
"The IMD can give details of the cyclone, its wind speed, landfall location only after the formation of the depression on May 7. As the sea condition may be rough from May 9, fishermen should not venture out.
"We have estimated that the wind speed of the cyclonic storm will remain at 80-90 kmph in the sea," Mohapatra said.
Director-General of Fire Services S K Upadhaya said all leaves of fire services personnel have been cancelled.
Jena, after holding a video conference with the collectors of 18 districts, said Odisha is prepared to face any eventuality.
The collectors have been put on alert and asked to take all measures required, he said.
Jena said the energy department and telecom service providers have been asked to take up restoration work immediately if their towers are affected by the possible cyclone.
It is also noticed that people usually come out of their houses to collect mangoes, coconuts and other fruits during a cyclone. It could cause danger to one's life, he added.