Bhubaneswar, Nov 14: A high alert has been issued today in the coastal areas of Orissa, as a severe cyclonic storm is set to approach the coast from the Bay of Bengal.
The meteorological department officials say the storm is just 850 kilometres away from the mainland, and is moving at a speed of 16 kilometres per hour.
Fishermen have been told not to venture out in the sea, and all boats have been directed to return back to the coast.
"It is likely to intensify further and move in a north-north western direction. For precautionary measures, we have issued a warning to the ports of Gopalpur and Paradeep," said S C Sahoo, Director of the Bhubaneshwar Meteorological Department.
All the 30 districts of Orissa have been put on alert, and the six coastal districts of Balasore, Kendrapada, Bhadrak, Puri, Ganjam and Jagatsinghpur have been placed on high alert.
"We have alerted all the district revenue divisional commissioners that they should take all steps to prepare themselves. They should have their control rooms, which should function round the clock," said Special Relief Commissioner N K Sunderay.
Sunderay expressed confidence that their preparedness for the impending storm is good, and informed that they had conducted a mock drill with the National Disaster Management Authority recently to tackle such situation.