Cyclone ‘Phailin’ to hit Bay of Bengal coast tomorrow, Govt geared up
‘Super cyclone’ Phailin is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal coast between Srikakulam and Gopalpur in Odisha by tomorrow evening
Hyderabad: As many as 64,000 people in the north coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh are being evacuated to safer places as ‘super cyclone’ Phailin is expected to hit the Bay of Bengal coast between Srikakulam and Gopalpur in Odisha by tomorrow evening.
Gales with a speed of 205-215 kmph are expected when the cyclone crosses the coast, AP Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy said.
“Sometimes the gale speed may even touch 235 kmph while heavy to very heavy rainfall of up to 25 cm is also likely under the impact,” he told reporters here this afternoon.
Phailin currently lay centered about 500 km off Visakhapatnam.
“The sea tides may rise to a height of three mts,” he added.
The Minister said he spoke to Collectors of coastal districts and has put them on high alert.
Army, Navy and National Disaster Response Force personnel have already been positioned in vulnerable coastal districts while Inspector General of Police (north-coastal zone) Ch Dwaraka Tirumala Rao has been asked to coordinate with other departments to ensure effective communications in case of emergency.
“In 1996, we had a super cyclone and Phailin is expected to be of the same intensity. We cannot stop the cyclone but we will try to minimise the damage through collective efforts,” Raghuveera said and appealed to people in vulnerable areas to heed the administration’s advice for safety.
“People need not panic as the government is fully geared up to meet the eventuality,” he said.
AP has been hit by 74 cyclones in the last 124 years, including 30 in the month of October.
Phailin will be the 31st cyclone in October.
Antony asks armed forces to be ready
Defence Minister A K Antony today asked the armed forces to be ready to move in to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in view of the impending severe cyclonic storm Phailin.
Two IAF IL-76 aircraft have already airlifted NDRF teams and equipment to Bhubneshwar.
IAF assets have been kept on stand-by at various bases including – Raipur, Nagpur, Jagdalpur, Barrackpore, Ranchi and Gwalior.
It has also kept two C130J aircraft, 18 helicopters, 2 AN-32s aircraft on a standby to move at a short notice besides asking its Eastern Air Command to coordinate relief operation with the task force positioned at Barrackpore.
The intensity of cyclonic storm Phailin is likely to increase as it has crossed the wind speed of 205-215 kmph in the early hours today, the MET department said.
The storm is still 520 km south-southeast of Paradip, 530 km southeast of Gopalpur, and 530km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam.
It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by evening of 12th October as a “very severe cyclonic storm” with a maximum sustained wind speed of 205-215 kmph. The tide height too is expected to be around 2 meters to 2.5 meters.
“The intensity of the storm has increased in the last few hours. Although it is a very severe cyclonic storm, it still cannot be termed as a super cyclone. We have keeping a close watch on it” said a senior MET department official.