Cyclone Gulab: Odisha, Andhra put on high alert; 24 NDRF teams dispatched
New Delhi, Sep 15: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted the formation of a cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal, which is likely to hit Odisha coasts and Andhra Pradesh in the next 12 hours. The wind speed of the weather system will vary between 75 kmph to 85 kmph, gusting up to 95 kmph.
According to the weather department, the intensity of 'Cyclone Gulab' that is likely to approach Odisha and Andhra Pradesh will be similar to 'Titli', the storm that lashed the state in 2018.
Meanwhile, National Crisis Management Committee under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba reviewed today preparedness of Central ministries/agencies and State governments to deal with the situation arising out of a cyclonic storm developing in the Bay of Bengal.
"NDRF has deployed 18 teams in these states and additional teams are also kept ready. Rescue and relief teams of the Army and Navy along with ships and aircraft have also been deployed," Rajiv Gauba told reporters.
He further stressed that preventive and precautionary measures should be taken by the concerned authorities of the State Govts/ Centre, before the cyclonic storm makes landfall, as the aim should be to keep loss of lives to near zero and minimise damage to infrastructure.
The Odisha government has put seven districts on high alert as the IMD predicted the formation of a cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal, which may then move towards the southern part of the state and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.
The government has rushed rescue teams to the vulnerable areas and asked officials to evacuate people from low-lying areas.
As many as 42 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and 24 squads of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), along with fire brigade personnel, have been dispatched to the seven districts -- Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Kandhamal.
Ganjam is expected to get severely affected by the cyclonic storm, and 15 rescue teams have been deployed in that area alone, Jena said.
Besides, 11 fire service units, six teams of the ODRAF and eight of the NDRF are in reserve for emergency purposes, he maintained.
The district administrations of Gajapati and Koraput have cancelled holidays and leave on September 25 and 26. Collectors have directed government officials and employees to be on their toes at their respective headquarters to meet any exigency.
According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), a deep depression that lay over north and adjoining central Bay of Bengal has moved westwards at a speed of 14 kmph.
At 8.30 am on Saturday, it was centred 470 km east-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha and 540 km east-northeast of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
"It (the weather system) is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm and move nearly westwards and cross the north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur, around Kalingapatnam, by evening of September 26," the agency noted.
There is also a likelihood of light to moderate showers at most places of the state on Sunday, with heavy to very heavy rainfall in a few areas and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places in south Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh.
Parts of north interior Odisha, Telangana and Chhattisgarh may also experience heavy rainfall on Sunday.