The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a cyclone alert for the coasts of south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts, saying that the depression building over the Bay of Bengal is likely to make landfall in the regions as a storm by midnight. A deep depression is second only to a tropical cyclone in intensity.
The depression over the west-central and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal moved westwards at 8.30 am on Thursday at a speed of about 15 kilometres per hour. In six hours, it intensified into a deep depression and lay centred over west-central Bay of Bengal, about 310 kilometres east-southeast of Kalingapatnam in coastal Andhra Pradesh and about 300 kilometres east-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha, the IMD said in its warning issued around 12.30 pm.
"The depression is very likely to move west-northwestwards and is likely to make landfall as a cyclonic storm near Gopalpur, on the coast of south Odisha-north Andhra Pradesh between Kalingapatnam and Puri, on Thursday midnight. It is expected to hit the region with a wind speed of 60 to 70 kilometres per hour, though it could gain intensity to 80 kilometres per hour," the IMD said.
Odisha Special Relief Commissioner BP Sethi has already asked all concerned departments to remain alert, closely monitor the situation, keep the administrative machinery fully prepared to meet any eventuality from the cyclone and ensure round-the-clock functioning of the control room.
Due to the cyclone, the weather department has predicted rainfall at most places, with heavy to very heavy rain at a few places over Odisha and extremely heavy showers at isolated places in south Odisha. Danger signal no.3 has been sounded at all ports of Odisha.
Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh are likely to be most affected by the storm, with the IMD warning of rainfall at most places — heavy to very heavy rainfall over Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh and extremely heavy downpour in isolated areas in both regions. Heavy to very heavy rain is expected in isolated regions in north Odisha, as well, over the next 24 hours.
Keeping the impending cyclone in mind, the IMD has recommended total suspension of fishing operations and advised fishermen to not venture out into northwest Bay of Bengal and off the coast of Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh in the next 24 hours.
"The state of the sea will be very rough over central and north Bay of Bengal and along and off Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh coasts till Thursday evening and become high along and off the coasts of north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha from Thursday evening for the subsequent 12 hours," the met department said.
The weatherman expects damage to thatched huts and minor damage to power and communication lines because of breaking branches. It warned of major damage to kutcha and minor damage to puca roads in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts in Odisha.
Some damage to paddy crops, banana and papaya trees and orchards is also expected. The storm is also likely to cause rainfall at isolated places in Telangana, Jharkhand, Rayalaseema and the Gangetic West Bengal.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Sep 20, 2018 19:05 PM