The Orissa government on Thursday started evacuating hundreds of people from its coastal districts fearing floods, as a deep depression formed over the Bay of Bengal.
"We have alerted the district collectors of five costal districts to remain alert for possible floods due to a deep depression formed early on Thursday over the Bay of Bengal," Special Relief Commissioner Nikunja Sundaray told IANS in Bhubaneswar.
The districts are Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Puri, Bhadrak and Kendrapada, he said. "We have also asked the respective collectors to evacuate people from the low-lying areas to safer places in case of emergency," the official added.
The condition of the sea will remain rough due to the depression, which is now lying centred at about 200 km southeast of Puri, director of the Bhubaneswar meteorological office SC Sahu said.
Fishermen have been alerted not to venture into the sea and precautionary signals were hoisted at Gopalpur, Puri, Paradeep and Chandbali ports, he said.
Rain and thundershowers are likely at most places of the state. Heavy to very heavy rainfall of more than 25 cm may occur at a few places also, he said.
Squally weather conditions are likely to prevail with wind speed reaching 55 to 65 km along and off the Orissa coast, said Sahu.
The state has been witnessing monsoon rains for the past four days with heavy showers in some places of southern Orissa.
Hundreds of people have already been moved to safer places in southern district of Ganjam, the district collector BK Panigrahi said.
Cyclones often hit Orissa during the monsoons, resulting in the loss of human lives and property.