Cyclone Jawad likely to hit Odisha coast on 4 December: State's tryst with cyclones in recent years
The weather agency has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall for some districts in the eastern state in lieu of the storm
Odisha government has put an alert on all districts with cyclonic storm Jawad likely reaching the state on 4 December.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) had said in its weather bulletin that the low-pressure area forming in the south Andaman Sea will intensify into a depression and move towards the Odisha coast as a cyclonic storm on 4 December.
Keeping this in mind, the state authorities have issued guidelines and have kicked into action to prevent too much damage. Fishermen have been asked not to venture into sea from December 3 to 5 and National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and fire department personnel have been asked to be ready.
Cyclones and Odisha go back a long way. Take a look at some of the big cyclones that have hit the state.
The severe cyclonic storm Yaas, which made landfall in Odisha’s Balasore district on the morning of 26 May 2021, affected 60 lakh people in 11,000 villages, causing a financial losses to the tune of Rs 610 crore. According to reported information, only three people lost their lives in the storm.
Super Cyclonic Storm Amphan was a powerful and catastrophic tropical cyclone that caused widespread damage in West Bengal and Odisha in May 2020. The cyclone battered the area with a wind speed of 190 kmph.
In its report, the Odisha government had said that the storm had affected over 44.45 lakh people in 9833 villages and 22 urban bodies. In addition to this, 8,72,049 livestock was also affected. The report added that 500 houses had been fully damaged and 15, 000 houses got partially damaged.
According to a United Nations report, titled State of the Global Climate 2020, Amphan was the “costliest tropical cyclone on record for the North Indian Ocean", resulting in the country sustaining losses worth $14 billion.
Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul struck the eastern state in November 2019. It tracked northwards in the Bay of Bengal, and it finally made landfall near Sagar Island in West Bengal as a very severe cyclonic storm, causing extremely heavy rainfall and winds of up to 135 km/h across southern West Bengal. The storm led to Odisha suffering agricultural damage, with 490,000 acres worth of crops destroyed state-wide. Two people also lost their lives in the storm.
Cyclonic Storm Fani was the worst tropical cyclone to strike Odisha since the 1999 Odisha cyclone. Fani reached its peak intensity on 2 May 2019, as a high-end Category 4 major hurricane, with maximum sustained wind speeds of 209-251 kmph. A day later, it made landfall at Puri, Odisha, and weakened into a Category 1-equivalent ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm soon after. The storm killed 64 people in the state and adversely affected electricity supply and telecommunication. After the destruction, the state announced that it would need Rs 170 billion for rebuilding the infrastructure.
Striking Odisha in October 2018, Cyclone Titli uprooted trees and electric poles and damaged hutments in Odisha's Ganjam and Gajapati districts. Fearing the worst, about 3,00,000 people were evacuated from low-lying districts in Odisha.
Hudhud was 'extremely severe' category cyclonic storm that hit the Eastern coastline of India in October 2014. The storm made landfall near Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, with wind speeds reaching up to 185 kmph. Southern Odisha experienced heavy rainfall and wind speeds of about 90 kmph.
Cyclone Phailin was the second strongest tropical cyclone in India since the 1999 Odisha cyclone. It resulted in heavy rainfall in Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Jharkhand. The cyclone triggered India's biggest evacuation drive in 23 years as more than 550,000 people were moved from the coastal to interior and safer regions. Phailin also caused flooding and damaged crops in over 500,000 hectares of agricultural land in the state. It was reported that 44 people lost their lives in Odisha due to the storm.
1999 Odisha Cyclone
Touted as the greatest cyclonic catastrophe in the 20th century, Odisha witnessed a 'Very Severe Cyclonic Storm' with a wind speed of 300 mph on 29 October 1999. It caused widespread flooding, leaving towns and villages completely inundated.
The government estimated the official death toll as 9,887. The destruction wrought by the cyclone was expected to cause a six-month-long total loss of normal livelihood. In the aftermath, many epidemics and diseases spread through the state as well.
With inputs from agencies
It is likely to continue to move north-northeastwards along Odisha coast towards West Bengal coast and weaken into a well-marked low-pressure area around midnight
Light to moderate rainfall at many places, with heavy rainfall at isolated places, likely over south Assam and Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, said IMD
The prime minister has directed officials to take every possible measure to ensure that people are safely evacuated and to ensure maintenance of all essential services, according to the PMO