Met department officials in Odisha on Friday said a low pressure area had formed over the South Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal this morning and it is likely to turn into a cyclonic storm over east-central Bay of Bengal by Sunday evening and then move north-westwards.
Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, HR Biswas, said the cyclonic storm is likely to continue to move north-westwards and reach west-central Bay of Bengal off the north Andhra-Odisha coasts by 10 May.
"On 10 May, it will remain 200 km away from the shore and any further course of the cyclone would only be known on May 10. Its intensity and effect on Odisha is yet to be calculated," he said.
Biswas said till now only a warning for fishermen had been issued as conditions in the Andaman Sea, Andaman Islands and Bay of Bengal will be rough with gusting winds reaching a speed of 75 kmph prevailing till 8 May.
Though it is still not clear whether the Odisha coast will be hit by the cyclone, Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena has said that the state government is ready to face any eventuality. "We have kept 17 NDRF teams, 20 ODRAF teams and 175 fire fighting teams on standby. The government is ready to face the cyclone if at all it heads towards Odisha," he said.
Jena said since Odisha has faced 3 summertime cyclones over the last few years, there should not be any panic about another cyclonic storm. "I have written to collectors of 18 districts to undertake measures in advance to reduce the impact of the cyclone. The collectors have been directed to undertake the following steps immediately on a priority basis to meet with any kind of eventualities arising out of the possible cyclone," he said.
Jena said the district emergency offices and control rooms must operate round the clock with adequate manpower. "The collectors have been asked to identify all vulnerable people and shifting them to safe shelters will be the first priority. All safe buildings including permanent and temporary will be identified. A team comprising three local officials (two men and one woman) may be kept in charge of each shelter by Friday evening. Safe pucca school buildings/public buildings in the vulnerable areas may also be identified as temporary shelters as per requirement," he said.