Bhubaneswar: With the depression over Bay of Bengal set to intensify into a cyclone and trigger widespread rainfall, the Odisha government on Tuesday put 15 of the state's 30 districts on alert to deal with a possible flood-like situation.
The depression moved westwards and lay centred over eastcentral and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal and North Andaman Sea, about 890 km south-southeast of Paradip in Odisha and 980 km south-southeast of Sagar Islands in West Bengal, a senior IMD official said.
It is likely to intensify into a deep depression shortly and into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday, IMD Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said, adding, chances of the cyclone hitting the Odisha coast are very low.
"We have put 15 of the state's 30 districts on alert in view of the possible heavy rain," Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) and Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management, P K Jena told reporters. The system is expected to move west-northwestwards initially and then north-northwestwards, towards West Bengal, adjoining Bangladesh and north Odisha coasts, Mohapatra said.
"However, the exact direction the cyclonic storm will take and possible location of its landfall are yet to be ascertained," he said.
The likelihood of a cyclonic storm in the region comes barely six months after cyclone Fani devastated coastal Odisha on May 3, claiming around 64 lives.
The cyclone warning also comes a fortnight after six people were killed in rains that battered Odisha under the impact of a low pressure area.
Mohapatra said light to moderate rainfall at most places over the coastal districts of Odisha is likely to commence from November 9.
In West Bengal, light to moderate rainfall at many places and heavy rain at isolated locations might commence over the coastal districts from the same day, an IMD bulletin said.
Under its impact, squally winds with speeds reaching 40-50 kmph and gusting up to 60 kmph is likely to prevail over northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from the evening of November 8, and gradually increase thereafter, it said.
Seas will be rough over westcentral and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal, and along and off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from the evening of November 8.
"It will be rough to very rough over north Bay of Bengal during November 8 and 9 and very high to phenomenal on November 10 morning," the IMD said.
Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha-West Bengal coasts from November 8 onwards.
The districts which were put on alert are: Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam, Puri, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi, Kandhamal, Boudh, Nuapada and Malkangiri.
The state government has taken all precautionary measures to deal with any situation, Jena said.
The Agriculture Department has also asked farmers to take appropriate safeguards in time to save their crops, harvested paddy and vegetables.