Cyclone Phailin moves closer to Odisha

Written by PTI | Bhubaneswar | Updated: Oct 12 2013, 01:01am hrs
Cycole PhailinPhailin, which was formed over North Andaman sea two days ago as a low pressure area, has developed into a evere cyclonic storm. (AP photo)
The very severe cyclonic storm 'Phailin', expected to make landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha, moved closer to the state and lay about 600 km southeast of Paradip, as the government sought the help of defence forces to boost its preparedness, official sources said tonight - Andhra Pradesh state too is in the way of the storm.

"Cyclone Phailin over east central Bay of Bengal moved northwestwards slightly, intensified further and lay centred at about 600 km southeast of Paradip and 700 km southeast of Gopalpur," the latest bulletin issued by the IMD said.


It would continue to move northwestwards and make landfall close to Gopalpur on the Odisha coast and north Andhra Pradesh by the evening of October 12 in the shape of a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum wind speed of 175-185 kmph, it said.

"Our past experience indicates that despite the state government's preparedness, impact of a very severe cyclonic storm requires support of the defence forces to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Defence Minister A K Antony.

The Defence ministry has responded immediately to the state government's request.

Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said that the Defence ministry has confirmed that some helicopters would be kept ready at Barrackpore in neighbouring West Bengal and would be ready to fly out by Sunday morning.

He said Odisha did not have a place to station the helicopters therefore they would fly in from Barrackpore.

Mohapatra said that food packets for about 1 lakh people would be ready before the Cyclone Phailin's landfall.

Director of IMD, Bhubaneswar, Sarat Sahu said squally winds speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph would hit Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh tomorrow morning. It would increase in intensity with wind speeds of a gale reaching 175-185 kmph along and off coastal districts of south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall.

The sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast would be rough to very rough from tomorrow and would become 'phenomenal' on October 12, he said.

"Storm surge with height of around 1.5 to 2.0 meter above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during landfall," Sahu said.

Asked whether there was a possibility of the system turning into a super cyclone, which had struck 14 coastal districts of Odisha in October 1999 taking many lives, Sahu said, "As of now the latest satellite data says that the system will take the form of a very severe cyclonic storm and make landfall on October 12."

Issuing Cyclone Phailin warning to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh as also West Bengal, the IMD said under its influence very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall would occur over coastal Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh from October 12.

It would continue into interior Odisha and coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal from the morning of October 13.

Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over coastal areas of West Bengal from October 13, the IMD said.

The sea would be rough to very rough along and off West Bengal coast during the period, Sahu said.

The Odisha government extended its alert to six more districts of Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawrangpur and Rayagada.

Earlier 14 districts -- Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati districts were alerted.

The state government has cancelled puja holidays of all employees.

Cyclone Phailin: Turbulence ahead

Expected landfall

Saturday evening in Gopalpur in Orissas Ganjam district

Maximum wind speed

175-185 km/hour

Height of waves

1.5-2 metres above the normal tide

Evacuation zone

Within 5 km of the coast

On standby

Around 600 NDRF men, IAF choppers and the Navy

Under threat

Massive crop damage expected, low-lying areas likely to be flooded because of high waves, cyclone also likely to hit Andhra, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

CYCLONE CONTROL ROOM: ODISHA

With countdown beginning for the 'super cyclone-like' calamity to hit Odisha coast, the state government today set up control rooms to make availble information, official sources said.

The helpline number of the Odisha Central Control Room is 0674-2534177, the sources said.

The district control room mumbers are :

Mayurbhanj-06792-252759,

Jajpur 06728-222648,

Gajapati 06815-222943,

Dhenkanal 06762-221376,

Khurda 06755-220002,

Keonjhar 06766-255437

Cuttack 0671-2507842,

Ganjam 06811-263978,

Puri 06752-223237,

Kendrapara 06727-232803,

Jagatsinghpur 06724-220368,

Balasore 06782-262674,

Bhadrak 06784-251881.