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Cyclone 'Hud Hud' heading towards Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast

Bhubaneswar: The deep depression in North Andaman Sea and its neighbourhood intensified into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday and is likely to cross Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast on October 12.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation with concerned departments and said all preparation have been made on par with those made to deal with Cyclone Phailin last year.

"The Cyclonic Storm 'Hudhud' lay centered at 0830 hours over North Andaman Sea and adjoining Southeast Bay of Bengal near latitude 12.30 N and longitude 92.90 E, about 1150 km Southeast of Gopalpur," the latest bulletin issued by IMD here said.

It is now crossing Andaman & Nicobar Islands close to Long Island, the IMD said, adding the system would thereafter continue to move west-northwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm in next 24 hours and subsequently into a very severe cyclonic storm.

"The system would cross north Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Odisha Coast between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur by noon on 12th October," the IMD said.

Under its impact, the region is likely to experience rain or thundershower at one or two places over Odisha during the next 24 hours, it said.

The MET office advised hoisting of storm warning of distant cautionary signal number two (DC-II) by replacing the earlier distant warning signal number one (DW-I) at Paradip and Gopalpur Ports in Odisha.

It also advised fishermen in deep sea to return to the coast immediately.

Patnaik, who held a review meeting during the day, told reporters, "I reviewed the situation with concerned departments. All preparation have been made on par with the one made to tackle Cyclone Phailin last year ... Go for evacuation of people if required." Departments have been asked to implement the contingency plan, he said.

A press release issued by the CMO said as per its information the system remains 1170 km from Gopalpur and will cross Visakhapatanam and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh on October 12.

Though Cyclone Hudhud is most likely to make landfall in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, southern parts of Odisha could experience heavy rainfall along with wind at the speed of 100 kmph to 140 kmph, the release said, adding the state government was ready to face the situation.

The IMD model, which is based on latest analysis, suggested that the gusting speed would be 85 kmph as soon as the deep depression takes the shape of cyclonic storm. The wind speed would remain at about 90 kmph all along the day and it would continue till tomorrow.

The cyclonic storm would, however, further intensify and take the form of severe cyclonic storm tomorrow with gusting speed of 110 kmph, the IMD bulletin said.

On October 10 the severe cyclonic storm will take the form of very severe cyclonic storm with gusting upto 125 kmph on October 10, it said. The very severe cyclonic storm condition would continue till October 12 when the maximum speed could reach 145 kmph, the bulletin said.

However, the wind speed would come down to 100 kmph and the system would take the form of a cyclonic storm on October 13, it added.

Odisha government has already taken steps to deploy personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) in vulnerable places and NDRF and fire service personnel have been alerted to face the situation as and when required.

"Our men are already in Puri and Balasore. If required we will seek more personnel from Delhi," NDRF commandant M K Yadav, who attended the review meeting, said.

Official sources said people have been asked not to panic as the administration is well prepared to face the situation and the state government has cancelled the leaves of its employees.

"Ganjam is likely to be worst hit in the cyclone as the system will make landfall close to the district. The government has already sent a group of skilled workers to Ganjam district to immediately restore power if the supply is damaged due to high speed wind of about 140 kmph," said a senior official of the energy department.

Patnaik has asked the chief secretary to take up with the BSNL authorities immediate restoration of communication system if it is hit by the cyclone. The chief minister also said that the Election Commission should be approached to ensure return of officials engaged in elections outside the state.

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