BHUBANESWAR: As cyclone Asani has changed track and now set to touch the coast between Vishakhapatnam and Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh before recurving in a weakened form, the State government on Tuesday issued high alert for five southern Odisha districts in view of likely heavy rains.
Ruling out any impact of the cyclone on the coastal districts, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said the system will pass Odisha coast on May 13 as a deep depression. He said that 19 teams of ODRAF have been mobilised for southern districts which may witness heavy rainfall under its influence.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla reviewed the preparedness of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha after the latest track of the cyclone was known. Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said Koraput, Malkangiri, Ganjam, Rayagada and Gajapati have been kept on high alert. Besides, coastal districts are also keeping watch, he said and added that ODRAF and fire service teams have been mobilised to the southern districts. They will be pre-positioned well before the time of the system passing Odisha coast.
Meanwhile, India Meteorological Department (IMD) has forecast heavy to very rainfall at isolated places in Gajapati, Ganjam and Puri districts, and heavy rainfall at one or two places in Koraput, Rayagada, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur and Cuttack districts on Wednesday. Isolated places in Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts are likely to receive heavy rainfall on Thursday.
Asani on Tuesday moved northwestwards with a speed of 10 kmph and lay centered at 5.30 pm over westcentral Bay of Bengal, about 170 km south of Kakinada, 290 km south-southwest of Visakhapatnam, 530 km south-southwest of Gopalpur and 630 km south-southwest of Puri.
“Asani is likely to move nearly northwestwards and reach westcentral Bay of Bengal close to Kakinada-Visakhapatnam coast by Wednesday morning,” said Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre scientist Umasankar Das.
Thereafter, it is very likely to recurve slowly north-northeastwards and move along Andhra Pradesh coast and then emerge into northwest Bay of Bengal off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts. It is likely to weaken into a cyclonic storm by Wednesday morning and into a deep depression 24 hours later, he added.