Representative image (Source: AP)
With the IMD forecast of a cyclonic storm reaching Odisha’s coast on December 4, the state government on December 1 asked collectors of 13 districts to prepare for evacuation of the people and has chalked out a disaster management strategy by requisitioning NDRF, ODRAF and fire department personnel for rescue and relief operation.
According to reports, the cyclonic storm has been named Cyclone Jawad.
The forecast said that the low pressure area in south Andaman Sea will intensify into a depression and move towards the coast as a cyclonic storm on December 4 and the Coast Guard has initiated extensive pre-emptive measures in the eastern coast keeping it in view.
The Coast Guard Disaster Relief Teams (DRTs) with inflatable boats, life buoys and life jackets are on the standby for disaster response operation, a twitter post by the Defence public relations officer in Chennai said.
Medical teams and ambulance have been kept ready for swift mobilization, it said.
The district authorities in some places are asking farmers over the public address system to harvest their ripe paddy crops, the state chief secretary said.
Fishermen have been advised to not venture into the southeast and adjoining east-central Bay of Bengal on December 2 and 3, into west central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal and along and off North Andhra Pradesh Odisha West Bengal coasts from December 3 to 5, state relief commissioner P K Jena said.
The sea condition is likely to be very rough with the squally wind speed reaching 45 to 55 kmph, gusting to 65 kmph on December 3. The wind speed is likely to reach 80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph on December 4 morning, an advisory issued by him said.
No immediate warning has been issued to the ports so far.
The IMD said that the low pressure area brewing over the south Andaman Sea and adjoining area will intensify into a depression and take the shape of a cyclonic storm around December 3.
The system will move northwestwards and reach north Andhra Pradesh-Odisha coast around December 4 morning.
Though it is clear that the cyclonic storm will approach the Odisha coast, it is too immature to say where it will make land fall and other details. However, under its impact several coastal districts of Odisha will experience light to moderate rainfall from December 3. South Odisha districts may also experience heavy rainfall on December 3, India Meteorological Department director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said.
He said that there is also a possibility that the cyclonic storm may change its path after reaching near the coast. It is likely to move in north-north east direction and may not cross the coast. "Or, it may cross the Odisha coast and later move towards West Bengal."
However, in both cases Odisha will experience rainfall activities, he said.
Only after the depression is formed will we be in a position to predict the path and location of the cyclone crossing the coast and its intensity. Mohapatra said.
The weather office said that the intensity of rainfall in Odisha will increase from December 4, especially in the coastal districts and interior districts will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall.
Some parts of coastal Odisha will experience extremely heavy rainfall (20 cms or above) during the period, said H R Biswas, the diretor of Regional Meteorological Centre here.
The IMD has issued red warning (heavy to very heavy rainfall) in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts.
Orange warning, which indicates less intensity than the red warning, has been issued in Kendrapara, Cuttack, Khurda, Nayagarh, Kandhamal, Rayagada and Koraput districts for December 4 after the cyclonic storm reaches near the coast.
It also issued yellow warning indicating heavy rainfall in Balasore, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Malkangiri districts on the same day.
The weather office also issued rainfall warning on December 5 and said several parts of Odisha will experience maximum wind speed of 90 kmph from December 4 morning for 12 hours and rainfall.
Odisha chief secretary S C Mohapatra reviewed the preparedness for the possible cyclone and asked the district collectors to be ready to evacuate the people living in low laying areas and kuchha houses in the coastal region.
During evacuation, priority will be given to pregnent women, children and elderly persons, he said.
The district collectors were also asked to keep the multi-purpose shelters ready for housing the evacuated people. They have been asked told to involve members of the panchayati raj institutions (PRI), ASHA and Anganwadi workers in mobilsing people to get prepared for the calamity.
The NDRF and ODRAF as well as fire fighting teams have been asked to remain on alert.
Apart from coastal districts, the collectors of Mayurbhanj and Nayagarh have also been asked to stay alert and nearly 200 fire fighting teams and 108 ODRAF and NDRF teams have been kept ready, Jena said.
The SRC has also asked district authorities to continuously monitor the situation inlow-lying areas and carry out dewatering activities wherever necessary on an urgent basis.
The control room should function round-the-clock, he said in an advisory.
The fishermen advisory needs to be strictly implemented in coastal districts and the situation and rainfall reports should be updated with the State Emergency Operations Centre regularly, it said.