The depression over Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm today and move northwestwards, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in its bulletin.
The cyclonic storm — Jawad — is likely to bring heavy rainfall to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts on Saturday, causing widespread disruption to electricity and telephone connections, the Met department warned.
“Cyclone alerts are announced in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. This can turn into a cyclonic storm and is likely to reach Vishakhapatnam by the evening tomorrow,” IMD Director-General Mrityunjay Mahapatra told Asian News International.
The cyclone is expected to move towards Odisha, causing heavy rainfall in the coastal regions. The intensity of rainfall is likely to increase on Saturday. Wind speeds are likely to reach 50-55KM per hour, increasing gradually to 100KM an hour, Mahapatra said.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a high-level meeting to review the preparedness of the two states, ministries, and agencies concerned to deal with the situation.
He directed officials to take necessary action to safely evacuate people and to ensure that all essential services such as telecommunications, power, health, and drinking water connections are maintained, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
The Andhra Pradesh government has sounded a high alert and deployed official machinery in three coastal districts. Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday directed the Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, and Srikakulam collectors to take precautionary measures.
Winds with speeds reaching up to 45-65KM an hour are likely along the Andhra coast today, Andhra Pradesh Disaster Management Authority Commissioner K Kanna Babu told PTI.
Odisha also plans to deploy 266 rescue teams, including personnel from the National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, and State Fire Services, along its southern coast. It has also stopped all fishing activities along the coastline.
Cyclone Jawad is also likely to cause heavy rainfall in West Bengal’s coastal districts.