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Friday, October 11, 2013

Cyclone Phailin, Half Of The India, May Damage Odisha, AP

By Kajol Singh / INN Live

The very severe cyclonic storm Phailin, expected to make landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha, moved closer to the state and lay about 600 km southeast of Paradip, as the government sought the help of defence forces to boost its preparedness, official sources said.

"The system Phailin over east central Bay of Bengal moved northwestwards slightly, intensified further and lay centred at about 600 km southeast of Paradip and 700 km southeast of Gopalpur," the latest bulletin issued by the IMD said. (Latest Live Updates, check our 'Live News Ticker' to know more.)
It would continue to move northwestwards and make landfall close to Gopalpur on the Odisha coast and north Andhra Pradesh by the evening of October 12 in the shape of a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum wind speed of 235-285 kmph, it said.

"Our past experience indicates that despite the state government's preparedness, impact of a very severe cyclonic storm requires support of the defence forces to mitigate the effects of extreme weather events," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in a letter to Defence Minister A.K. Antony.

The Defence Ministry has responded immediately to the state government's request.

Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra told INN Live that the Defence Ministry has confirmed that some helicopters would be kept ready at Barrackpore in neighbouring West Bengal and would be ready to fly out by Sunday morning.

He said Odisha did not have a place to station the helicopters therefore they would fly in from Barrackpore.

Mohapatra said that food packets for about 1 lakh people would be ready before the cyclone's landfall.

Director of IMD, Bhubaneswar, Sarat Sahu said squally winds speeds reaching 45-55 kmph to 65 kmph would hit Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh tomorrow morning.

It would increase in intensity with wind speeds of a gale reaching 175-185 kmph along and off coastal districts of south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh at the time of landfall.

The sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast would be rough to very rough from Friday and would become 'phenomenal' on October 12, he said.

"Storm surge with height of around 1.5 to 2.0 meter above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during landfall," Sahu said.

Asked whether there was a possibility of the system turning into a super cyclone, which had struck 14 coastal districts of Odisha in October 1999 taking many lives, Sahu said, "As of now the latest satellite data says that the system will take the form of a very severe cyclonic storm and make landfall on October 12."

Issuing a warning to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh as also West Bengal, the IMD said under its influence very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall would occur over coastal Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh from October 12.

It would continue into interior Odisha and coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal from the morning of October 13. Isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over coastal areas of West Bengal from October 13, the IMD said.

The sea would be rough to very rough along and off West Bengal coast during the period, Sahu said.

The Odisha government extended its alert to six more districts of Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawrangpur and Rayagada.

Earlier 14 districts -- Balasore, Bhadrak, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Ganjam and Gajapati districts were alerted. The state government has cancelled puja holidays of all employees.
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