Cyclone won’t make landfall in Odisha or AP but move parallel to coast: IMD

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and along and off West Bengal and Odisha coasts from May 10 till further notice, Met department head in Kolkata Sanjib Bandyopadhyay said.

Bhubaneswar/Kolkata: In a big relief to the people and administration, the IMD on Saturday announced that the cyclonic storm brewing in the Bay of Bengal will not make landfall in either Odisha or Andhra Pradesh, but will move parallel to the coast.

The system, which has turned into a deep depression over Southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea, is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm on Sunday morning.

It lay centred about 280 km west-northwest of Car Nicobar (Nicobar Islands), 290 km southwest of Port Blair (Andaman Islands), 1140 km southeast of Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and 1180 km south-southeast of Puri (Odisha) at 5:30 pm on Saturday, the IMD said.

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It will recurve and move towards northwest Bay of Bengal after nearing the North Andhra-Odisha coast, India Meteorological Department (IMD) DG Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said.

“The system is moving towards the coast in the north-westwards direction. It will continue to move in that direction till May 10 evening, and thereafter recurve in the sea north-northeastwards and move parallel to the coast,” Mohapatra said in Bhubaneswar.

It has moved north-westwards with a speed of 20 kmph.

Coastal districts of Odisha and the southern part of West Bengal, including the state capital Kolkata, are likely to be lashed by light to moderate rain from Tuesday, the IMD said.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea and along and off West Bengal and Odisha coasts from May 10 till further notice, Met department head in Kolkata Sanjib Bandyopadhyay said.

The governments of Odisha and West Bengal have taken all precautionary measures to deal with the possible situation.

Though relieved to a great extent as the cyclone will not make landfall, the Odisha government said it would not lower the preparation to deal with the possible situation and kept cyclone shelters ready to house as many as 7.5 lakh people, if evacuated for the purpose.

If the weather system intensifies into a cyclone, it will be called Asani, Sinhalese for ‘wrath’. This would be the first cyclonic storm of the season as a similar weather event in March had fizzled out before it could acquire the strength of a cyclone.

The sea conditions near the Odisha coast will become rough on May 9 and rougher on May 10. The wind speed in the sea will increase to 80-90 kmph on May 10.

The windy conditions will prevail till May 11 and reduce thereafter,” Mohapatra said.

Under its impact, Odisha’s coastal districts such as Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Jagatsinghpur and Puri will receive light to moderate rainfall after May 10 evening, he added.

The Coast Guard units are broadcasting weather warnings through Radar Operating Stations in Odisha’s Paradip.

Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said arrangements have been made to evacuate altogether 7.5 lakh people in 18 districts if any emergency situation arises out of the impending cyclonic storm.

On the deployment of response teams, the SRC said the personnel have been kept in readiness and a decision on their deployment will be taken after a more clear picture emerges.

While some fishermen have started returning from the sea, we are hopeful to bring them back by Sunday afternoon, he said.

The SRC said that farmers were advised to take necessary measures to save their crops during the rain.

Director General of Fire Service, SK Upadhaya, said that the department is all prepared for rescue and relief operations with the latest equipment in the wake of a cyclone.

In West Bengal, Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi held a meeting with senior officials of departments of the state disaster, agriculture, irrigation and power in connection with the preparations of the state government in connection with the possible cyclone.

It was to start a centralised control room at the secretariat and integrated control rooms in the districts operating from Monday,” a senior official said.

Disaster Management groups have been asked to be ready while district administrations will alert people on the public address system, he said.

Tarpaulin, water pouches and emergency medicines have already been sent to the districts.

The Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) has been asked not to release water in large quantities, the official added.

About the preparations taken in Kolkata, Mayor Firhad Hakim told PTI: “All pumping stations have been kept ready to drain extra water in case there is heavy rainfall. Our disaster management department personnel has been directed to be ready.”

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