Cyclone Phailin under 70 km away, speed jumps to 20 kmph

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 13 2013, 02:49am hrs
Cyclone PhailinCyclonic winds strike on the Gopalpur coast at Chhatrapur as Cyclone Phailin advances towards Odisha on Saturday. PTI
Cyclone Phailin, which is likely to hit the eastern coast anytime now, is less than 70 kilometre off the Gopalpur coast in Odisha and has intensified its speed, Meteorological department said.

Cyclone Phailin is likely to make a landfall anytime between 6 to 8 PM and it has intensified its speed to 20 kmph- it was moving at the speed of 15 kmph until few hours back.

"Cyclone Phailin makes landfall on Saturday evening and the intensity will continue until Sunday morning, but will slowly mellow down by Sunday evening and Monday morning," said L S Rathore, Director General Meteorology told reporters today.

"With the tides rising up to 3 to 3.5 meters, sea water could enter in land up to 300-600 meters. The Ganjam area will be maximum hit due to this," he added.

Meanwhile, Vikram Pradhan, Joint Resident Commissioner of Odisha Bhavan in Delhi said that more than 4,48,000 people have been evacuated due to the threat posed by Cyclone Phailin.

He said, unlike the last time people were more forthcoming in the evacuation exercise as most are aware of the experience of the 1999 super cyclone.

"We are coordinating with the MHA and Ministry of Defence. 10 helicopters have been positioned at Barrackpore and have kept 29 NDRF teams ready with 9 teams of Orissa Disaster Action Force," Pradhan said.

"We have stocked the supply of fuel, food and drinking water. 50 satellite phones, in addition to 18 phones sourced from ITBP, have been given to district collectors and superintendents in case of emergency."