"Keeping in view the severity of the situation, we have also instructed the port authorities to hoist 'great danger number 10' for Gopalpur and Puri ports. Paradip and, we have asked them to hoist 'great danger number 9'," Sahu said.
Sahu said the MET Department is taking all precautions to minimize the damage and displacement from the natural disaster, and is in constant touch with authorities. Sahu also said that frequent updates arte being provided to the people to increase awareness.
"We are in constant touch with the Government of Odisha and high authorities. ...Updates are being sent out through email, SMS, fax and electronic media frequently," he said.
Giving an overview of the situation, Sahu said the very severe cyclone storm Phailin moved northwestwards and centered around 260 kilometers of Gopalpur. "It is expected to continue its movement northwestwards towards north Andhra Pradesh and the Odisha coast. It will cross close to Gopalpur by today evening," Sahu confirmed.
Sahu also said that after crossing the coast, the cyclone would 'gradually weaken'.
"But, while crossing the coast the wind speed will be around 210 to 220 kilometers per hour, gusting to 240 kilometers per hour. While crossing also the storm is likely to increase from 3 to 3.5 meters in districts of Ganjam, Puri, Khammam and Jagatsinghpur. Before crossing and while crossing also, it will have impact on places like Gajapati and Cuttack districts," he added.
High wind and heavy rain lashed the coastal belt of Odisha today disrupting normal life.
Phailin, which has been put in the category of Very Severe Cyclonic Storm (VSCS), is expected to touch 230 kilometer per hour, when it hits the two states.
According to reports, the India Meteorological Department issued a bulletin early morning on Saturday, which said the cyclonic storm is located at about 355 km southwest of Paradip and 320 km southwest of Gopalpur in Odisha, and at about 315 km southeast of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Nearly three lakh people have been evacuated in Odisha, and at least 65,000 people have been evacuated in Andhra Pradesh by rescue and relief teams.
Earlier on Friday, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) Director General Krishna Chaudhary on Friday said that twenty-three NDRF teams have been deputed in Odisha, and eleven in Andhra Pradesh at locations identified by the state government.
Authorities in the two states have warned of extensive damage to crops, village dwellings and old buildings, as well as disruption of power, water and rail services. Shelters were being stocked with rations, and leave for government employees for Dussehra have been cancelled.
--ANI (Posted on 12-10-2013)