BHUBANESWAR: Even as very severe cyclonic storm Bulbul headed towards West Bengal-Bangladesh coast, the Odisha Government on Friday issued alert to all coastal and northern districts to be ready in case of any exigencies. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the State Government is fully prepared for the cyclone. “There may be heavy rains in some of the coastal districts but the cyclone will be moving towards Bangladesh,” Naveen said. The Government has also advised people not to venture out of their homes and take shelter at safe places during the storm.
Lying 160 km south-south-east of Paradip, the system is expected to trigger heavy rain accompanied by strong wind along coastal pockets. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the cyclone is likely to make landfall close to Sundarbans by November 9 midnight.
It may also trigger heavy rains in Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and moderate rain in Jajpur and Mayurbhanj. Light rainfall is expected in parts of Puri, Khurda and Cuttack during the period.
Under the impact of Bulbul, coastal and north districts of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore may experience wind speed upto 70-80 kmph with gusting upto 90 kmph on November 9. Puri and Ganjam are likely to experience squally wind reaching 40-50 kmph gusting upto 60 kmph during next 36 hours, the IMD said.
Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said the Government has dispatched ODRAF and NDRF teams to nine districts likely to be affected by the storm. Collectors of districts concerned have been asked to remain alert and keep Government machinery ready to meet any exigency arising out of the situation. They have been asked to keep an eye on low-lying areas and ready evacuation plan.
“People living in kutcha houses and low-lying areas will be evacuated to safety. The operation, however, depends on situation and the Collectors have been asked to take a decision in this regard,” the SRC said.
As many as 18 ODRAF and six NDRF teams have been dispatched to the districts. Fire service teams have also been sent and additional 60 firemen kept in readiness in Bhubaneswar. The impact of the cyclone on Odisha will be less on November 10, the SRC said.
Earlier on the day, Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba held a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to review the preparedness in Odisha and West Bengal to deal with ‘Bulbul.’As per IMD, Bulbul has intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and continues to move north-northwestwards at a speed of 17 kmph. The storm will intensify further and move nearly northwards till November 9 morning. Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve northeastwards and cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Islands and Khepupara near Sundarban delta by November 9 midnight as a severe cyclonic storm. The wind speed of the storm during landfall will be around 110-120 kmph gusting upto 135 kmph.
Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre director HR Biswas said in view of the storm, fishermen have been asked not to venture into sea till November 10. Met officials said, sea conditions during this period will be rough to very rough along and off the Odisha and West Bengal coasts from Friday.