Natural Disasters

Cyclone Jawad can make landfall in Odisha’s Puri district December 5: IMD

Farmers and fishermen in coastal Odisha districts prepare for the worst, with Cyclone Jawad predicted to make landfall in the area; many worried about their livelihood

By Ashis Senapati
Published: Friday 03 December 2021
Fishing boats moored at the harbour in Paradip, ahead of Cyclone Jawad. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Cyclone Jawad is likely to make landfall in Odisha’s coastal Puri district around noon on December 5, 2021, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) tweeted December 3.

Odisha Chief Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kr Jena also stated that Cyclone Jawad would make landfall in Puri district between the evening of December 4 and the morning of December 5, though the exact location had not been identified.

The IMD also issued an ‘orange’ alert, with the likelihood of very heavy rainfall December 3 and 4 over the Puri, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Cuttack and Nayagarh districts of Odisha.

Fishermen have been advised not to venture out to sea. Many returned ashore December 2, following the cyclone warning. They have also moored their vessels at harbours and jetties, in anticipation of Cyclone Jawad.

Basant Dash, the deputy director of the (marine) fisheries department, said:

Many boats have already returned to harbours and jetties December 2. We are using loudspeakers to warn fishermen against venturing out to sea. The department will take action against those fishermen who venture out to sea ignoring adverse weather warnings.

Many fishermen are worried about how the inactivity would impact their earnings. 

Narayan Haldar, the president of the Odisha Masyajibi Forum, said: “Cyclone Gulab in September forced large numbers of marine fishermen to halt  their fishing activities for around three weeks. Now, Cyclone Jawad will also compel us not to venture into the sea. The fate of fishermen is thus hanging in the balance.” 

“We depend on the sea for our daily earnings. We are fishermen. We expect bad weather, but the continuous low pressure in the sea has ruined our lives,” Mahendra Das, a fisherman from Kharinashi village in Kendrapara district, said.

Farmers in coastal Odisha too are worried that the incessant rain caused by Jawad may damage their ripened paddy crops. 

“It would take around 10-15 days for the paddy crops to mature for harvesting in many areas. But if there is rain and high speed wind, paddy crops will be damaged completely,” Ashok Behera of Pattamundai in Kendrapara district, said.   

Many farmers have started harvesting their paddy early. “Harvested paddy is lying in the fields of many farmers and it might be damaged if it rains,” Jiban Behera, a farmer of Kendrapara, said.

Jena said the administration was working with local sarpanches and other Panchayat body members to help people prepare for the cyclone in the seaside villages of the state.

“The coastal areas of the state are regularly hit by major cyclones. So, everyone is taking this threat extremely seriously and making sure the right measures are in place to mitigate the impact. The government has warned people against visiting the seaside to avoid any dangerous occurrence,” Jena said.  

He added that all the vulnerable pockets had been brought under a safety cordon, with multi-purpose cyclone shelters being readied to accommodate people in case of emergencies. 

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