BHUBANESWAR: Panic gripped people in north coastal Odisha that experienced strong wind and heavy rain under impact of very severe cyclone Bulbul which now lay centred 95 km off Paradip coast. The State Government, however, said no casualty has been reported from any part of the affected districts so far.
Special relief Commissioner PK Jena said rescue teams and volunteers are engaged to remove uprooted trees and clear roads in the affected areas. Administrative machinery and skilled manpower are ready for immediate restoration power infrastructure damaged due to the storm.
At Paradip, the residents of Mundapada were shifted to Municipal High School building. More than 1,500 people were evacuated to safety in Balasore and Jagatsingpur as a precautionary measure.
Strong winds reaching a speed of 90 km to 110 km per hour was recorded in coastal districts. Trees were uprooted while electric poles were damaged and power lines snapped in parts of Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsingpur and Balasore districts which experienced heavy rainfall. A moderate amount of rain also recorded in Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Mayurbhanj districts.
Farmers are expected to have sustained crop damage up to 40 per cent in these districts due to the storm. Special Relief Commissioner PK Jena's office stated that in last 24 hours, Kendrapara recorded 75 mm rainfall followed by Bhadrak with 54.6 mm rainfall, Jagatsingpur with 51.6 mm rainfall and Balasore with 37 mm rainfall. Rajnagar block in Kendrapara received the highest rainfall of 180 mm followed by Paradip with 159 mm rainfall, Chandbali with 150 mm rainfall and Rajkanika with 136 mm rainfall.
Jena said, six National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams and 18 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams along with a number of fire services personnel have been deployed in Puri, Jagasinghpur, Kendrapada, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Khurda, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj and Ganjam to rescue and relief work.
Deputy SRC Prabhat Mohapatra said, currently the storm lay centred at 95 km east and north-east of Paradip and 140km south-southwest of Balasore district. There wouldn't be much impact of the storm in Odisha after next six hours, he said.
The India Meteorology Department (IMD) said that wind speed of 70 km per hour to 80km with gusting up to 90 km is likely to continue along and off Kendrapara and Jagatsingpur districts for next three hours and Balasore and Bhadrak districts for next six hours. It said that the sea condition will also be very rough during this period.
The Met department also said that the storm is likely to weaken gradually and move northeastwards. It may cross West Bengal-Bangladesh coasts between Sagar Island and Khepupara and make landfall at Sundarban delta by late evening or night today as a severe cyclonic storm. During landfall the maximum sustained windspeed of the storm will be around 120kmph with gusting upto 135 km.