Odisha on high alert over cyclone threat

Bhubaneswar, Oct 9 : Odisha has asked the collectors of 14 districts to be on high alert as a depression formed over the Bay of Bengal could intensify into a cyclonic storm and hit the state coast, officials said Wednesday.

The government has directed the collectors of cyclone prone districts, including the coastal districts of Balasore, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Puri and Ganjam, not to take the warning lightly and asked them to prepare their plan at ground level.

"We are monitoring the situation. As the cyclone gets closer, we will issue fresh alerts," state's special relief commissioner Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra told IANS.

He said the National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and Fire Department have also been asked to remain prepared for rescue and relief operation.

The state has also written to the central government requesting them to keep choppers ready, he said.

The depression has formed over the north-Andaman Sea and was centred about 1250 km east-southeast of Paradip, in the state's Jagatsinghpur district, an official of the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre said.

The system would intensify into a deep depression and further into a cyclonic storm, the official told IANS.

It would move west-northwestwards towards Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast and may make a landfall Oct 12 evening or night, he said.

The Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre has advised fishermen not to venture into the Bay of Bengal.

Paradip and Gopalpur ports have been asked to hoist Distant Cautionary Signal Number One, he said.

Many areas in Odisha are likely to experience widespread rainfall. A few places will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall during the next two days, the Met official said.

--IANS (Posted on 09-10-2013)

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