Cyclone alert for Odisha, coastal Andhra Pradesh

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Bhubaneswar: South Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh have been put on alert after India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a cyclone alert which is likely to hit the eastern coast of India around Thursday midnight.

According to government’s weather department, a depression formed over the west-central Bay of Bengal on 19 September has developed into a deep depression in the morning. The activity is expected to move north-westwards towards coastal Andhra Pradesh and intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hours.

“It is likely to cross south Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Kalingapatnam and Puri (Odisha), close to Gopalpur in the intervening night of 20-21 September as a cyclonic storm with wind speed of 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph,” said Dr M. Mohapatra, head of services at IMD.

As per the mid-day weather bulletin released today, squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting up to 65 kmph is very likely along Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coasts during next six hours which could gradually increase to 80 kmph from the next 12 hours.

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The weather department has also sounded a storm surge warning for the coastal areas, emphasizing that low-lying areas of districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha could face inundation at the time of landfall.

Officials have recommended total suspension of fishing operations for the next 24 hours, highlighting that the state of the sea will be very rough over central and North Bay of Bengal and along Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh coasts.

According to IMD, damage is expected over districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha, where people living in thatched huts could be more vulnerable.

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There could be minor damage to power and communication lines due to breaking of branches and roads, and some damage to paddy crops, banana, papaya trees and orchards.

IMD has also issued a red alert for heavy rainfall for Odisha and coastal Andhra Pradesh for Thursday, highlighting that heavy rainfall conditions are expected over Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and some parts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh over the next two days.

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