Odisha on toes after low pressure area over Bay of Bengal

Bhubaneswar: Amid ongoing efforts in battle against COVID-19, Odisha Government seems to be confident to handle new challenges arising out of possible cyclone Amphan to be intensified over Bay of Bengal.

Odisha Government is fully equipped with and ready to face the cyclone during COVID-19 battle, said State Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Pradeep Kumar Jena after attending a preparatory meeting on cyclone here today.

As per India Meteorological Department (IMD), the well marked low pressure is very likely to concentrate into depression over central parts of south Bay of Bengal today and further intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 16 evening. It is likely to move northwestwards initially and then re-curve north-northeastwards towards north Bay of Bengal during May 18 and 19.

Based on the IMD prediction, the State Government has alerted 12 districts including southern and northern regions for the cyclonic storm.

The SRC said that the northern region of the state is likely to be more affected due to the possible cyclone.

“In this regard, we have discussed with the collectors of Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts to closely monitor the situation. In view of the upcoming challenges, the leaves of all the government employees in these four districts have been cancelled,” Jena said.

Though there is no cyclone warning for Odisha, it’s too early to talk about the landfall probabilities.

“We do not know where the cyclone will hit, but it is expected to make landfall either in West Bengal or Bangladesh,” Jena said.

As part of precautionary measure, the Government asked the collectors of possible affected districts to arrange more number of shelter homes to face the challenge.

“If required the evacuation of residents will be made and teachers and sarpanches will be in-charge of those shelter homes.” the SRC said.

As per the IMD prediction, the southern districts of the state including Ganjam, Gajapati as well as coastal districts of Puri and Kendrapara may witness heavy rainfall with 40-45 kmph wind speed gusting upto 60-65 kmph on May 18 under influence of the cyclonic storm. On 19, rain is likely to occur in northern districts with 60-65 kmph wind speed gusting upto 85-90 kmph, he said.

In view of possible cyclonic storm, the fishermen have been asked not to venture into the deep sea from today. Those, who have already sailed boats into the sea, have been directed to return to the shores by May 17.

Meanwhile, IMD Chief Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said that the possible cyclonic storm is likely to affect the coastal Odisha between May 18 and 19.

Chairing the preparatory meeting, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy asked the collectors to be ready to face the worst situation to occur due to cyclone. He suggested not to take the cyclone threat in an easy manner.

“Earlier, the cyclonic storms including Titili and FANI had caused massive devastation in Odisha. However, the State Government has been lauded in both national and international levels for its disaster management strategy,” Tripathy said.

He directed the collectors to tackle the situation in the same process followed during cyclones that had hit Odisha coasts earlier.

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