October 12, 2013

Cyclone strikes Odisha, Andhra

As cyclone Phailin threatens to strike north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha anytime in the evening today (Saturday), lakhs of people are fleeing their homes to safer interior areas fearing a calamity worse than the super-cyclone of 1999 that killed over 10,000 people and wrought heavy devastation in gusty winds and rushing floods. Experts also warn of potential threat from flying debris for the first 6 hours along the cyclone's escape route till it peters out in the next 6 hours into Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
Chennai: The cyclone Phailin with a gale wind speed of 250 kmph will break along and off the coastal districts of north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha in the late afternoon or evening of today (Saturday). The state of the sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast is rough to very rough and will become gradually phenomenal from the afternoon, the Met department has warned. The fast approaching cyclone threatens widespread devastation along the coastal areas, raising sea level by three metres and causing torrential rains and heavy flooding. Three lakh people have already left their hearth and home from along the coastal areas of the States. According to Met dept officials, the force of devastation will be comparable to that of a previous super-cyclone that lashed the region way back in 1999 killing over 10,000 people and uprooting several lakhs. However, the American meteorological observations calculate a worse dispensation for the people on the coasts from the impending calamity. Official sources confirmed that Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsingpur districts in Odisha and Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh will writhe under the sway of the oncoming cyclone. Expecting large-scale disruption in power and communication networks and supplies of essential commodities, the district authorities have started evacuating the people from the danger-prone coastal areas. According to an Odisha Govt statement, about one-sixth of the State will be affected by the surging sea waters. It said 10 per cent of the standing paddy and sugarcane crops in about 36 lakh hectares of agricultural land will be damaged. Meanwhile, there is a scramble for essential provisions at stores and vegetable markets all over in both the States, leading to prices shooting up. The Indian Meteorological Department said Phailin would hit between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and the major port of Paradip in Odisha state in the afternoon/evening of Saturday. The Red Message from the Met Dept issued at 5:30 am Oct 12, 2013 said: The very severe cyclonic storm, PHAILIN over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral Bay of Bengal moved northwestwards during past 6 hours and lay centred at 0230 hrs IST of today, the 12 th October 2013 over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral Bay of Bengal near latitude 17.1 0 N and longitude 86.8 0 E, about 355 km south-southeast of Paradip, 320 km southeast of Gopalpur, and 315 km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam. It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by evening of today i.e. the 12 th October, 2013 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 210-220 kmph Gale wind speed will reach 100-150 kmph from forenoon and 210-220 kmph along and off coastal districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha at the time of landfall. The state of the sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast is rough to very rough and will become gradually phenomenal from the afternoon of Saturday. Emergency Contact Numbers: Orissa: Balasore: +91-6782-262674; Bhadrak: +91-6784-251881; Cuttack: +91-671-2507842; Dhenkanal: +91-6762-221376; Gajapati: +91-6815-222943; Ganjam: +91-6811-263978; Jagatsinghpur: +91-6724-220368; Jajpur: +91-6728-222648; Kendrapara: +91-6727-232803; Keonjhar: +91-6766-255437; Khurda: +91-6755-220002; Mayurbhanj: +91-6792-252759; Nayagarh: +91-6753-252978; Puri: +91-6752-223237; Andra Pradesh: Hyderabad: +91-4023-456005 / +91-4023-451043

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