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'Very severe cyclonic storm' to hit Andhra, alert sounded

Source : PTI
Last Updated: Wed, Oct 09, 2013 18:15 hrs
 cyclone

Hyderabad: A deep depression expected to turn into "a very severe cyclonic storm" over Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, crossed the North Andaman island on Wednesday and lay centred over the east central Bay of Bengal, 950km southeast of Paradip, the latest IMD bulletin said.

The deep depression with a wind speed is 78km per hour hit the Andaman Islands near uninhabited Landfall island at around 5pm causing very heavy rainfall, a report from Port Blair said.

Andhra Pradesh government put all its departments on high alert in view of the cyclone threat along north-coastal Andhra and Odisha even as chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appealed to striking government employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to return to work to meet any emergency.



It would intensify into a cyclonic storm in next 12 hours and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by October 12 night as "a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185kmph," the bulletin said.

"The storm is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha between Kalingapatanam and Paradip by the night of the October 12. We are expecting the wind speed to be around 175-185kmph. These areas will also experience very heavy rainfall," said a senior scientist at the Met department.

"We have sent an advisory to fishermen not to venture into Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Fishermen out at sea along north Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been advised to return to coast," the official added.

The Odisha government also issued a high alert and cancelled the Dusshera holidays of employees in 14 districts with chief minister Naveen Patnaik asking collectors to ensure the safety of the people.

The alert was issued to Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati districts.

It was decided to deploy Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams in the 14 districts from October 10, Revenue minister Surya Narayan Patro said and directed that a mock drill by ODRAF and fire personnel be held.

Cyclone hits Andaman Nicobar islands

The cyclonic storm on Wednesday hit the Andaman and Nicobar islands and is expected to reach the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha over the next 48-72 hours, the Met department said.

The cyclone hit the islands near the Mayabandar between 12.30-1.30pm. This resulted in very-heavy rainfall in the islands.

As the cyclone moves west-northwestwards in the next 48 hours, it is expected to turn into a "very severe cyclonic storm", the weathermen said. It is likely to hit the eastern coast by October 12 midnight.

"The storm is likely to cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha between Kalingapatanam and Paradip by the night of the October 12. We are expecting the wind speed to be around 175-185 kmph. These areas will also experience very heavy rainfall," said a senior scientist at the Met department.

"We have sent an advisory to fishermen not to venture into Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Fishermen out at sea along north Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been advised to return to coast," the official added.

Andhra Pradesh on high alert

Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday put all its departments on high alert in view of the cyclone threat along north-coastal Andhra and Odisha even as chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy appealed to striking government employees in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to return to work to meet any emergency.

Though they remained firm on their resolve to continue the strike till they get a clear assurance from the Centre to keep the state united, the APNGOs Association assured the chief minister that staff of revenue and other line departments would take part in rescue and relief operations in case of cyclone.

Reddy reviewed the situation at a high-level meeting with his Cabinet colleagues, chief secretary P K Mohanty and other top officials and asked the administration to "be prepared" to meet any emergency, a press release from the chief minister's Office said.

He told the chief secretary that helicopters and boats could be positioned in advance in vulnerable districts and services of Coast Guard too could be utilized. Reddy also asked him to mobilize vehicles and keep the National Disaster Response Force teams ready for rescue operations.

The chief minister wanted the power department to be on high alert as there was a likelihood of power disruption due to gales.

District collectors have been directed to get people from vulnerable areas evacuated to safer places, wherever required.

"All steps should be taken to protect lives and properties," the chief minister added.

According to the Met forecast, the depression that lay centred over north Andaman was expected to turn into a very severe cyclonic storm and cross north Andhra and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradeep by the night of October 12 with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph.

Odisha cancels puja holiday of employees

With the Met department forecasting a cyclone in Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast by Sunday, the state government on Wednesday cancelled puja holidays of its employees in 14 districts and ordered deployment of Disaster Rapid Force in all vulnerable points.

"The state government has cancelled puja holidays of employees in coastal districts in view of possible cyclone," Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro told reporters.

"Besides issuing instructions to other departments to remain alert to the situation, the government has already ordered deployment of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF)," he said.

The minister also directed that a mock drill of ODRAF and fire personnel be held.

The latest bulletin issued by the Met department suggested that a tropical storm brewing over the Andaman sea would gather speed and destructive power when it crossed the Odisha-Andhra coast on Saturday. "The wind speed of the system during the landfall will be between 175 to 185 km per hour," the bulletin said.

The depression over the North Andaman Sea which moved northwestward with a speed of 13 kmph during the past 6 hours, intensified into a deep depression and lay centred at 5.30 am today over north Andaman Sea, about 1100 km east-southeast of Paradip and 1200 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam, it said.

The system, it said, would intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours. It would move west-northwestwards and cross Andaman islands near Mayabandar by noon today, as a cyclonic storm.

The system would then continue to move west-northwestwards for sometime and then northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by night of October 12 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph, it said.

Meanwhile, the state government has asked fishermen not to venture into the sea as its condition would remain rough till Monday. The district authorities have also been asked to take required steps in villages located by the sea coast.

The 14 coastal districts where maximum alert has been issued are Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was likely to take stock of the situation arising out of the impending cyclone.

The Odisha government has asked the Home Ministry to keep helicopters ready for rescue and relief operations.

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