Deep depression over Bay of Bengal intensifies into cyclonic storm, to hit Odisha coast shortly

The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm Thursday night and is expected to hit the Odisha coast near Gopalpur shortly, the India Meteorological Department said.

"Cyclonic storm 'DAYE' lay centred over northwest Bay of Bengal, about 90 km southeast of Gopalpur, and is likely to cross south Odisha-north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Kalingapatnam and Puri," Director of the Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, H R Biswas said.

It will make landfall as a cyclonic storm with winds gusting up to 80 kmph, he said.

The state government has instructed officials in coastal districts and various departments to be alert and ready to tackle any emergency, official sources said.

Danger signs with signal number 3, which warns of surface winds clocking 40-50 kmph, have been hoisted at all ports of Odisha, officials said.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik held a review meeting and directed the officials to keep a close watch on the situation and take steps to ensure no loss of life. He also asked them to arrange adequate relief materials.

The cyclone warning division's (CWD) advisory said the sea will be very rough over central and north Bay of Bengal and off the Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh coasts.

There will also be a storm surge of about 0.5 m above astronomical tides and it is likely to inundate low-lying areas of Vizianagaram, Srikakulam districts in Andhra Pradesh and Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts in Odisha at the time of landfall, it said.

The chief minister asked officials of the coastal districts to be alert and prepared.

Patnaik also issued direction for keeping the government offices open in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Nayagarh and Khurda districts, which are likely to be hit by fierce winds.

As roads and power supply are likely to be affected due to the cyclone, he asked the departments concerned to take steps in advance to ensure quick restoration works.

He directed that special attention be given to water, electricity supply and hospitals, an official in the CMO said.

"We are fully alert to deal with the situation. All departments concerned have been put on alert and the situation is being closely monitored," Chief Secretary A P Padhi said.

Taking the situation into account, NDRF and ODRAF have been deployed in different districts. One NDRF team each has been deployed in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Gajapati, Puri, Nayagarh and Kandhamal districts with 17 boats and other emergency equipment.

One ODRAF team each has been deployed in Ganjam, Koraput, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri Districts. The remaining ODRAF units are ready for deployment on short notice. Fire Service Units in the respective districts are deployed for search and rescue work wherever required.

The IMD has also predicted damage to thatched hut, roads, crops and minor damage to power and communication lines in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Nayagarh and Puri districts at the time of landfall. Local cautionary Signal Number LC-III to be kept hoisted at all ports of Odisha, it said.

The district administrations in Puri and Ganjam have been asked to carry out evacuation in vulnerable and low-lying areas in their respective regions, if necessary.

The health and family welfare department has taken steps to make available essential drugs and consumables in health facilities and provide health services in cut off areas.

Arrangements have also been made for providing power backup at all health facilities, an official said.

Heavy rainfall lashed several parts of Odisha since Wednesday and rain and thundershower are likely to occur in the next 48 hours, the IMD said, adding it will ease thereafter.

The depression caused heavy rain in Balasore, Ganjam, Bhadrak, Puri, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts on Thursday.

Under the depression's impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at some places in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Nabarangpur districts till Friday, the IMD bulletin said.

The low pressure system is also likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in interior western and northern districts like Balangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj on Friday, the MeT centre here said.

In view of the adverse weather conditions, the MeT office advised suspension of fishing operations and asked fishermen not to venture into the sea till Friday.

Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi has asked all concerned to remain alert, closely monitor the situation and keep the administrative machinery fully prepared to meet any eventuality and ensure round-the-clock functioning of the control room.


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