BHUBANESWAR: Northern and adjoining coastal Odisha districts can breathe easy as Komen, season’s first cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal, headed into Bangladesh touching Chittagong on Thursday evening.
As the tropical cyclone followed a circular course and distanced away from the State’s coast, there was very little rain over the catchments of Baitarani, Budhabalanga and Subranarekha rivers in the last 24 hours. The highest rainfall of 22 mm was recorded at Jaleswar and Rajghat followed by 12 mm at Sundargarh and 6 mm at Angul.
While the three rivers were in spate following the rains on July 27-28, the two dry days have given ample time for evacuation of the storm water. With Komen entering mainland Bangladesh and weather models predicting a fast dissipation, widespread rains within the next 24 hours is highly unlikely in northern and adjoining pockets of the State and it will prove beneficial for the locals and the district administration.
The weather office, however, remained watchful since the tropical storm showed a very weird movement keeping the weather forecasters puzzled. “Komen’s track has almost been like a circle and is showing signs of weakening. But since its forecast path shows a west-north-west movement, we are keeping a watch,” Director of India Meteorological Department, Odisha SC Sahu said.
If the weakened system veers towards West Bengal and adjoining Jharkhand, northern and neighbouring western districts would receive good amount of showers during July 31-August 1.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre also said, the system will dissipate fast but “the system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration or return into the Bay of Bengal.” In fact, the met forecasters have had to change the prediction frequently in last four days given the complexity of the system.
Private forecaster Skymetweather said, Komen may have been the shortest duration tropical cyclone. Even as the rains abated and situation improved, about 3.93 lakh people in 358 villages in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Jajpur, Bhardak and Balasore remained affected by initial spell of flood. So far, the floods have claimed three lives.
The Special Relief Commissioner’s office said, situation in Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj districts is almost normal as the flood water is fast receding in all rivers which were in spate. However, Collectors of northern districts have been have been kept on alert as the region may experience heavy rainfall in next two to three days.
Five ODRAF and one NDRF units have been deployed in the affected districts. The Fire Service units in Jajpur, Keonjhar, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts are also on the ground.