Remnant of cyclone Jawad leads to cloudburst in Odisha port town
A cloudburst in the port town of Paradip in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district on Monday almost threatened to drown the town as remnants of cyclone Jawad, which has weakened into a deep depression over Bay of Bengal, moved close to Odisha coast on Sunday afternoon, officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Cyclone Jawad, which threatened to hit the Odisha coast at Puri, weakened to depression on Sunday afternoon before coming near the coast, but did not make landfall, IMD said. Originally estimated to bring wind gushing at 90-100 kmph, the actual wind speed was less than half of it by Sunday afternoon, IMD said.
It then moved north-eastwards with a speed of 25 kmph and lay cantered about 30 km southeast of Paradip over northwest Bay of Bengal by 5.30 pm, IMD said. Moving in north-north-eastwards direction, it will weaken further by Sunday midnight along the West Bengal coast, it added.
Though the system weakened, it led to a sudden downpour in Paradip, which saw 109 mm of rain between 2.30 pm and 3.30 pm after the associated cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal led to intense rainfall triggered by huge difference of wind shear between upper and lower level of the atmosphere, IMD officials said.
“The clouds took a tornadic structure due to the atmospheric system. Nowhere in Odisha has cloudburst occurred in the last 5 years,” said Uma Shankar Das, senior scientist in Regional Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar.
The port town witnessed a total of 201 mm of rainfall since 8.30 am on Sunday, the highest in Odisha. “The town suddenly became almost dark like night. Heavy downpour...,” tweeted a Paradip resident.
Cloudbursts are short-duration, intense rainfall events over a small area and according to IMD, result in over 100mm rainfall per hour in a particular region. As per IMD, only 30 such incidents have been recorded in India between 1970 and 2016. Cloudbursts generally occur in mountainous and desert regions, but are also experienced over continental landmasses due to strong vertical velocity with a continuous flow of moisture from nearby water bodies.
Paradip Port Trust officials said no damage was caused to the port infrastructure and cleaning of choked drains was going on. Trees and branches have been cleared from the roads to make way for traffic, said a port official, adding there was no report of any casualties from the town due to the cloudburst.
Depressed by the cyclonic rains damaging his standing paddy crops, a 55-year-old tribal farmer of Ganjam district in Odisha on Sunday ended his life by consuming pesticide.
Special relief commissioner Pradeep Jena said considering heavy loss to agriculture sector, the district collectors have been directed to immediately prepare crop damage assessment report within seven days. “Government will take appropriate decision in regards to whatever benefit entitled,” he said.
Coastal region experienced heavy rains during the last 24 hours. According to the IMD, besides Paradip, the highest rainfall of 158 mm was recorded in Khallikote in Ganjam district during the last 24 hours (till 8.30 am Sunday). Similarly, 107.5 mm rainfall was reported in Nayagarh and 86 mm in Chhatrapur.
Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre director HR Biswas said the rainfall activity will continue in Odisha during the next 24 hours as the deep depression moved along Odisha coast. “The squally weather will continue with gusty winds along the coastal region. So, the fishermen warning and port warning will remain in force till Monday. There are chances that some flights from and to Bhubaneswar might be regulated depending on the impact on visibility due to heavy rains,” Biswas said.
In West Bengal, the state government stopped ferry services on the Hooghly river and urged tourists not to visit seaside resorts, as rain lashed Kolkata and other southern parts of the state on Sunday. “With the system likely to move north-northeastwards along the Odisha coast towards West Bengal and develop into a well-marked low pressure area, light to moderate rainfall has begun in Kolkata, Howrah, North and South 24 Parganas, and East and West Medinipur districts,” an official said.
Heavy rain will occur in some isolated parts of south Bengal, including coastal areas of South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts, and parts of East Bardhaman, he said.