Super cyclone Phailin heads towards Odisha, Andhra

Deep depression over North Andaman Sea develops into severe cyclonic storm; expected to gather wind speed up to 185 km per hour

By T N Vijaylaxmi
Published: Wednesday 09 October 2013


The Odisha government on Wednesday started stocking huge volumes of food grain and medicine at different places and asked the administration to put an alternative communication system in place as a cyclone with wind speed of up to 185 kmh was heading towards land.

The storm is expected to hit on Saturday. An alert has been sounded in 14 districts; these were ravaged by the super cyclone that hit the state in 1999.

“The deep depression over North Andaman Sea moved west-north-westward and crossed Andaman Islands near Mayabandar between 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm and lay-centred over east-central Bay of Bengal, about 950km south-east of Paradip,” Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar said on Wednesday evening.

The Met office said the system has intensified into a cyclonic storm named Phailin and will continue to move west-north-westward for some time and then north-westward and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip by night of October 12 (Saturday) as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph.
Director of Bhubaneswar Met office, S C Sahu, said, “the system looks ominous. It crossed the Andaman with a wind speed reaching 60 to 70 kmph. But the atmospheric system is gaining strength from all directions over Bay of Bengal. The picture would be little clearer by Thursday evening.”

The Met office predicted heavy rainfall would occur at one or two places over Odisha during the next 24 hours. Distant cautionary signal number one (DC-I) was kept hoisted at Paradip and Gopalpur ports in Odisha while fishers who are in the deep sea have been advised to return to the coast immediately. The sea will turn rough to very rough after 12 hours.

Meanwhile, the state government has set up a 24-hour control room to keep a close watch on development and cancelled Durga Puja vacation of government employees in the 14 districts.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday took stock of the situation in a high level meeting attended by revenue and disaster management (RDM) minister Surya Narayan Patro, RDM secretary Taradatt and development commissioner I Srinivas. District collectors of 14 districts also spoke to the chief minister through video conferencing.

Reservoir waters released

The meeting resolved to release water from all reservoirs, apprehending that heavy rain would occur under the influence of cyclonic storm. Six sluice gates were opened at Hirakud reservoir – the largest reservoir of the state.
National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force, Fire Service and Odisha State Disaster Management Authority have also been alerted about intensification of the cyclone system. Moreover, rescue boats are being shifted to strategic positions in view of brewing cyclone over Bay of Bengal.

Odisha Chief Minister Navin Patnaik has, meanwhile, written to the Centre requesting it to instruct the armed forces to be on standby to help the state administration in rescue and relief operations. According to sources, experts have informed the state government that the cyclone would be a severe one. Its severity would be confirmed by Thursday evening. The India Meteorological Department forecast on vulnerabilities indicate that the communication systems in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast will be severely damaged. This is a major concern as communication plays a key role in evacuation and relief operations.

State level vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategies: a case study of Orissa

Examining the storm protection services of mangroves of Orissa during the 1999 cyclone

Importance of upper ocean heat content in the intensification and translation speed of cyclones over the Bay of Bengal

Mangroves protected villages and reduced death toll during Indian super cyclone

Storm protection by mangroves in Orissa: an analysis of the 1999 super cyclone

Facing sudden impact (Experience of Orissa super cyclone of 1999)

Evaluation study of rehabilitation & reconstruction process in post super cyclone, Orissa

An empirical model for predicting the decay of tropical cyclone wind speed after landfall over the Indian region
Study on super cyclone in Orissa 1999 with special reference to early warning system
Tropical cyclones in a warmer world
Hydro-meteorological inventory of Orissa cyclones

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.