Natural Disasters

Odisha prepares for Cyclone Jawad predicted to make landfall December 4

Yeloow alert issued for several states for December 4 and orange for December 5

By Hrusikesh Mohanty
Published: Wednesday 01 December 2021
Odisha prepares for Cyclone Jawad predicted to make landfall December 4

The Odisha government is bracing for Cyclone Jawad, which is likely to strike the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts on December 4, 2021. The storm system can trigger heavy rainfall in these states, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 

It will be the second cyclone on the Bay of Bengal which may affect Odisha this year. On May 26, 2021, Cyclone Yaas made landfall in Balasore district, causing widespread destruction. 

The low pressure area, which emerged over south Thailand, is likely to move into the Andaman Sea and intensify into a cyclonic storm over central Bay of Bengal on December 4, said IMD. 

The weather forecasting agency predicted that isolated, extremely heavy rainfall is likely to take place over coastal Odisha on December 4 and Gangetic West Bengal on December 5.

A yellow warning was issued for Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Jajpur districts for December 4, said Uma Shankar Das, senior scientist, IMD Bhubaneswar. “An orange warning was also issued for some districts for December 5.”

A gale with speed reaching 65-75 kilometres per hour, gusting 85 kmph over the northwest and adjoining west central Bay of Bengal from the morning of December 4 is predicted, according to an IMD official. But the details of the cyclone such as its landfall, expected rainfall and exact wind speed during the landfall will be known only after the low pressure turns into a depression on December 3,  he said.

The Odisha government has started preparing for heavy rainfall due to the cyclone. 

Chief Minister Naveen Patnnaik directed the agriculture department November 29 to take measures to save paddy crops, which have already been or will be harvested. He also discussed with the concerned secretaries, including chief secretary and Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) to prepare to meet any eventuality.

The government also advised fishers to return from the sea by December 2. “We are keeping a close watch on the situation,” said a senior officer.

Farmers are likely to bear the brunt of the cyclone fury, as around 80 per cent of the paddy crop in the field is ready for harvest. Paddy procurement is yet to begin in most of the districts and so, farmers who have already harvested will face a tough time keeping their produce safe, said Simamchal Nahak, Secretary Rushikulya Rait Mahasbha, a farmers’ organisation. 

“I have already harvested two acres of paddy that is lying in the threshing yard without being processed. I fear the crop will be damaged if there is fresh rain as there is no option to keep it in a safe place,” said Santosh Pradhan of Aska in Ganjam district.

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