Cyclone Leher approaching, Odisha on its toes - The New Indian Express

Cyclone Leher approaching, Odisha on its toes

Published: 26th November 2013 01:29 AM

Last Updated: 26th November 2013 01:29 AM

The Odisha Government on Monday issued an alert to south and coastal districts of the state, asking the officials to stay prepared as ‘Lehar’ headed on its projected course towards coastal Andhra Pradesh.

According to the weather office, Lehar turned into a severe cyclonic storm and emerged in the southeast parts of Bay of Bengal on Monday, moving at a speed of 15 kmph. It was located about 1,070 km southeast of Gopalpur in the afternoon.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said the system moved westwards during the last 24 hours and would intensify gradually into a very severe cyclonic storm and move west-northwestwards to cross Andhra Pradesh coast between Machilipatnam and Kalingapatnam near Kakinada around noon on November 28. The state government is keeping a close watch on the system’s movement, though it is unlikely to come close to Odisha coast.

The IMD said systems formed after November 15 would not come towards Odisha coast, the surface temperature being a main reason for it. “There are various models that are being consulted to accurately predict the track of Lehar. As of now, there is nothing to suggest that it will change its course. The system will most likely maintain its projected path,” said Odisha IMD Director Sarat Chandra Sahu.

However, chances of rainfall after Lehar crosses Andhra Pradesh coast are higher as it is expected to move in a north-westerly direction over coastal Andhra, Telangana and Vidarbha. Under its influence, western Odisha districts such as Sonepur, Balangir and Baragarh also would see heavy rains. Almost all southern districts such as Malkangiri, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Gajapati and Ganjam would receive rain when the system approaches the coast during November 28.

Meanwhile, Distant Warning Signal No 2 was hoisted at Paradip and Gopalpur ports. Also, fishermen were asked to return to safety at the earliest.

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