Bhubaneswar: Rainfall activity started in Odisha’s southern and coastal regions Sunday morning in the wake of cyclone ‘Gulab’, which is likely to make landfall between Gopalpur and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh around midnight, the India Meteorological Department said.
The cyclone, the second to hit the state in four months, lay centered about 140 km east-southeast of Gopalpur and 190 km east-northeast of Kalingapatnam, it said.
“It is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts… with maximum sustained wind speed of 75-85 kmph gusting to 95 kmph, around midnight of today. The landfall process will commence from late evening of Sunday,” the IMD said, while issuing a ‘Red Message’ (extreme rain).
The current speed of the system is 18 kmph.
The Odisha government has already mobilised men and machinery, and launched an evacuation drive in seven identified districts in the southern parts of the state.
As many as 42 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 24 squads of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with about 102 teams of fire brigade personnel, have been dispatched to the seven districts — Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Kandhamal, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.
Ganjam is expected to be severely affected by the cyclonic storm, and 15 rescue teams have been deployed in that area alone, Jena said.
Besides, 11 fire service units, six teams of the ODRAF and eight of the NDRF are on standby for emergency purposes, he said.
Over the next three days, the sea condition will be rough to very rough and fishermen in Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh have been asked to not venture into east-central and adjoining northeast Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea.