Severe cyclone alert sounded in Odisha
By Express News Service | Published: 10th October 2013 11:16 AM |
As the deep depression intensified into cyclonic storm “PHAILIN”, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Wednesday issued a cyclone alert for the Odisha coast prompting the State Government to begin deployment of Rapid Action Force as well as rescue and relief teams in 14 coastal districts, which were affected by the 1999 Super-Cyclone.
Leaves and holidays of officials in 14 districts have been cancelled. The Government has also issued a similar order for officials from 12 departments, which have been asked to open 24x7 control rooms. District administrations have been directed to start evacuation of people from low-lying areas apprehending a natural calamity that threatens to match the 1999 catastrophe.
By Wednesday mid-night, PHAILIN was lying 950 km south-east off Paradip, after crossing the Andaman Islands near Mayabandar between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm. It lay centred over East Central Bay of Bengal near latitude 13.50 North and longitude 92.50 East. It had remained practically stationary with surface wind pace of about 50 km-60 km per hour.
The system would intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours and continue to move west-northwestwards. Going by its predicted path, the system is expected to cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip on October 12. By then, it would have intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm. As the IMD predicted, the maximum sustained wind speed during its landfall could be in the range of 175-185 km per hour.
The IMD has been using different models to ascertain the path of the system to arrive at the landfall point so as to gauge the impact of the system and help the Government prepare for the eventuality.
Though the path projected by the IMD as well as the US Navy Weather Service suggested that the system would cross the coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, there are chances that it could make a landfall close to or south of Chilika lagoon.
“In most likelihood, PHAILIN will intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and cross Southern Odisha. We would be able to make a more accurate projection once it is in Central Bay of Bengal and within the radar systems located at Paradip and Gopalpur,” Director, IMD, Odisha, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.
With the system moving towards the East Coast, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, earlier in the day, held video conferencing with the Collectors and asked them to stock food materials and keep cyclone shelters in readiness.Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro said mock drill of Odisha Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and Fire Service has been resumed, while telecom operators have been asked to repair their transmission towers with immediate effect. ODRAF teams from non-coastal districts have been put on standby.
All the districts have been asked to make a pre-positioning of food and relief materials so that supply and mobilisation, when required, can be carried out without any problem, Special Relief Commissioner Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra said, adding, mobilisation of the Rapid Action Force will start from Thursday.