With weather officials predicting a possible cyclonic storm, named Hudhud, hitting Orissa coast by October 12, the day cyclone Phailin hit the state exactly a year ago, the Orissa government on Tuesday said it was prepared to face any eventuality.
According to the India Meteorological Department, Monday’s low pressure area over Tenasserim Coast and adjoining Andaman Sea has concentrated into a depression and lay centred at 8.30 am over North Andaman Sea and neighbourhood, about 1,380 km Southeast of Gopalpur in Ganjam district.
It would move in a West-Northwesterly direction and intensify into a deep depression within 24 hours and further intensify into a cyclonic storm, Met officials said.
The officials said the system may rapidly develop into a tropical storm as it moves into the central parts of Bay of Bengal by October 9. From here on the system will move northwestward and make landfall over coastal parts of Orissa between Gopalpur and Balasore by October 11. “By October 8 noon we can tell clearly whether it would develop into a cyclone,” said S C Sahu, director of Met office in Bhubaneswar.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said his government was prepared for the possible eventuality. “My government is prepared for the possible cyclonic storm,” he said.
The state has cancelled leave applications of its employees and put 16 coastal districts on alert besides asking the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force and fire service personnel to be ready. “We are prepared for the possible cyclone. There are 12 teams of which one each is already deployed in Balasore and Puri districts,” said NDRF commandant M K Yadav.
The districts which have been put on alert are Balasore, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khurdha, Nayagarh, Gajapati, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Malkangiri and Koraput.
Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said, “The government is monitoring the situation in close coordination with IMD and would take all required steps. People are advised to remain watchful about the situation but there is no reason for panic.”