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Odisha: Cyclone ‘Roanu’ 50 km off Gopalpur; rains, winds disrupt life

Rain in Dubai

New Delhi: Cyclone Roanu moved further northeastwards and lay centred about 50 km south-southeast off Gopalpur coast on Friday causing rains coupled with gusty surface winds to lash several parts of Odisha and affect normal life.

The system is likely to move further northeastwards along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in next 24 hours, the meteorological centre here said. Thereafter, the system is likely to move east-northeastwards and cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox’s Bazar, close to Chittagong tomorrow evening as a cyclonic storm, it said. Under its impact, rain and thundershower lashed many places in Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore and Mayurbhanj districts in Odisha disrupting normal life, the weatherman said.

While the port town of Paradip received maximum rainfall of 96 mm today, 85 mm rainfall was recorded in Puri, followed by 63 mm in Chandbali, 52 mm in Balasore, 31 mm in Cuttack, 29 mm in Bhubaneswar, 16 mm in Gopalpur and 5 mm in Baripada, it said. The Met office predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places with extremely heavy rainfall at one or two places over coastal Odisha and heavy to very heavy at one or two places over interior Odisha during the next 24 hours. In view of the weather conditions ‘local cautionary signal number three’ was replaced by ‘danger signal number five’ at all ports in Odisha.

The met office said there would be gusty cyclonic surface wind with 90 kmph to 100 kmph speed and gusting up to 110 kmph in south Odisha coast and 60kmph to 70 kmph, even 80 kmph in north Odisha. The sea condition is very likely to be high to very high along and off Odisha coast, it said adding fishermen have advised not to venture into sea off the Odisha Coast. As a precautionary measure, the state government has already issued an alert in at least 12 districts in coastal, southern and northern regions asking authorities to prepare for any eventuality, Chief Secretary A P Padhi said.

The system, however, brought respite from the scorching heat in the state as maximum temperature dropped to 37.1 degree C at Hirakud and 26.2 degree C in Bhubaneswar during the day, the Met office said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has directed all the departments to remain alert to face any eventuality due to cyclone ‘Roanu’. He held a video conference meeting with the collectors of coastal and southern districts yesterday. Meanwhile, the state government has cancelled the leaves of government employees today and tomorrow which may be extended depending on the situation.

Padhi said 10 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and fire service personnel have been kept ready and the government will arrange more personnel if required. Steps have been taken for arranging food, medicine and other essentials at the cyclone shelters where people from vulnerable areas can be shifted when necessary, a senior official said.

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