New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Oct 12 IBNS | 2 years ago

Cyclonic storm Phailin, which is moving with a wind speed of up to 220 kmph, is all set to hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast with severity on Saturday evening around 6 pm.

The storm is capable of affecting around 1.2 crore people.

Meanwhile, lakhs of people fled from the coastal areas in the two states. In Andhra Pradesh, 64,000 people have been evacuated so far.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy has called a meeting to monitor relief operations at 12 noon on Saturday.

The Odisha government has said it has set a "zero casualty target" and was seeking "100 percent" evacuation of people in areas likely to be hit by the storm.

The Odisha government has evacuated nearly three lakh people from its coastal districts so far.

Several cyclone centres and more than 100 shelter homes have been set up in the districts likely to be most affected by Phailin.

About 1600 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) personnel have been dispatched to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

According to reports, Indian Air Force (IAF) assets in Nashik, Ranchi, Bangalore, Nagpur and Barrackpore are on standby with more than 20 planes and choppers have been deployed.

A 30-member divers' team of the Indian Navy is prepared to serve its ships after the cyclone landfall.

The storm, which has been classified as "very severe cyclonic storm", is likely to make landfall close to Gopalpur in Ganjam district in Odisha.

M Mahapatra, Director, Cyclone Centre, on Friday predicted heavy rainfall in the two states by evening.

"It is a very severe cyclone storm with 210 to 240 kmph wind speed. But it is yet to be termed a super cyclone," he said.

He said Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha are going to be worst hit along with Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. Odisha in 1999 had witnessed one of the worst cyclones that killed 15,000 people.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) chief Krishna Chaudhary said their teams are stationed in 23 places in Odisha and 11 places in Andhra Pradesh to tackle the crisis.

He said all medical supplies are ready and NDMA would do whatever it takes to save human lives.

"Each location has been identified and covered by a team," said Chaudhary.

Earlier MET office in a bulletin said: "The very severe cyclonic storm, PHAILIN over east central Bay of Bengal moved westwards slightly intensified further and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of 11thth October 2013 near latitude 15.50N and longitude 89.000E, about 590km south-southeast of Paradip, 600km southeast of Gopalpur, and 600km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam.

"It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by evening of 12thth October, 2013 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 205-215 kmph."

MET Warning for Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal :

Heavy Rainfall: Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls (≥ 25cm) would occur over coastal Odisha commencing from 12thth October 2013 morning. It would continue and extend to interior Odisha and coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal from 13th morning. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall would also occur at a few places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh commencing from 12thth Oct 2013 and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over coastal areas of West Bengal commencing from 13thth Oct. 2013.

Gale wind: Squally winds speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph would commence along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast from 11th morning. It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 205-215 kmph along and off coastal districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha at the time of landfall. State of Sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast will be rough to very rough from 11th morning and will become phenomenal on 12th October 2013. It will be rough to very rough along and off West Bengal coast during the above period.

Storm Surge Guidance: Storm surge with height of around 2.0-2.5 m 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.

Damage expected over Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh: Extensive damage to kutcha houses. Some damage to old buildings. Large scale disruption of power and communication lines. Disruption of rail and road traffic due to extensive flooding. Potential threat from flying debris. Flooding of escape routes. Extensive damage to agricultural crops.

Action suggested: Fishermen out at sea along north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coast are advised to return to coast. Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea.

Following actions are suggested when the cyclone would be 500 km from the coast (from 11thth October 2013).

Total suspension of fishing operations. Mobilise evacuation from coastal areas. Judicious regulation of rail and road traffic. People in affected areas to remain indoors during cyclone landfall.

Warning for Andaman and Nicobar Islands :

(i)Heavy rainfall : Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would occur over Andaman Islands during next 12 hrs.

(ii) Squally wind : Squally winds speed reaching 40 - 50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph would continue to prevail prevail over Andaman Islands and adjoining sea areas during next 12 hours. Sea condition will be rough to very rough along and off Andaman and Nicobar Islands during next 12 hrs.

Fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea during next 12 hrs.

Meanwhile, Odhisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the state government is fully prepared to deal with the cyclone and ensure minimal human casualty.

According to IAF, two IAF IL -76 have airlifted NDRF teams and equipment to Bhubneshwar. Other IAF assets are on stand by at various bases including - Raipur, Nagpur, Jagdalpur, Barrackpore, Ranchi and Gwalior.

IAF commits 2 C130J, 18 helicopters, 2 AN-32s to the effort and the aircraft are already positioned to move at short notice.

IAF is fully geared up to assist the State administration and has tasked its Eastern Air Command to coordinate the entire relief operation with the task force under being positioned at Barrackpore, it said in a communique.

Andhra Pradesh Emergency Nos. for Cyclone as on 11 October 2013:

Euro Srikakulam - 0894-2240557/ 9652838191
Euro Visakhapatnam- 1800425002
Euro Vizianagaram- Toll Free: 1077/0892-2236947
Euro East Godavari- 0884-2365506
Euro West Godavari- 0881230617
Euro Krishna- 086722525 Toll Free - 1077
Euro Guntur- 08632345103/08632234990
Euro Nellore- 08612331477

(Posted on 12-10-2013)