Odisha bracing for possible cyclone, 12 districts on alert
Initially, it is likely to move northwestwards and then re-curve north-northeastwards towards the north of Bay of Bengal on Monday and Tuesday.Updated: May 15, 2020 20:11 IST
Odisha government on Friday asked collectors of four coastal districts, which are likely to be affected by a looming cyclonic storm, to arrange more number of alternative shelter homes for a possible evacuation of residents, as the state stares at another natural disaster amid the raging coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) director-general Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the well-marked low pressure would likely to concentrate into depression over central parts of south Bay of Bengal on Friday and further intensify into a cyclonic storm by the evening and likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm over south & adjoining central parts of the Bay of Bengal by Saturday evening.
Initially, it is likely to move northwestwards and then re-curve north-northeastwards towards the north of Bay of Bengal on Monday and Tuesday.
Odisha government took note of IMD’s forecast and alerted 12 districts, including in southern and northern regions, for the imminent cyclonic storm. “We’ve discussed with the collectors of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts to closely monitor the situation. District collectors in north coastal Odisha have been asked to look for alternative cyclone shelters as existing ones have been turned into Covid-19 quarantine centres,” said Pradeep Jena, special relief commissioner, Odisha.
The cyclonic storm is likely to lash Odisha at a time when 21 of the state’s 30 districts are grappling with the pandemic, as 672 people have tested Covid-19 positive to date.
Another disaster in the form of a looming cyclonic storm is likely to pose a massive challenge for the state administration, which is on the precipice due to the viral outbreak.
State chief secretary Asit Tripathy said the leaves of all government employees in four districts, which are staring at the cyclonic fury, have been cancelled. “The cyclonic storms in previous years such as Titli and Fani had caused massive devastation in Odisha. However, the state government has been lauded for its disaster management strategy,” Tripathy said.
IMD has predicted that the southern districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, and the coastal districts of Puri and Kendrapara are likely to experience heavy rainfall with 40-45 kilometres per hour (kmph) wind speed gusting up to 60-65 kmph on Monday because of the cyclonic storm.
On Tuesday, rainfall is likely to occur in northern districts with 60-65 kmph wind speed gusting up to 85-90 kmph.
The fishermen have been asked not to venture into the deep sea from Friday because of the possible cyclonic storm. Those, who have already sailed into the sea, have been asked to return to the shores by Sunday.