Bhubaneswar, Oct 11:
Odisha and Andhra Pradesh braced for the “very severe” cyclone that is expected to hit the east coast with winds gusting up to 220 kmph tomorrow evening, as lakhs of people were being evacuated to safer places and the military kept on standby.
Cyclone Phailin — the biggest cyclone in years to hit Odisha — is expected to make landfall near Gopalpur in Ganjam district in the eastern State after crossing an area between Paradip in Odisha and Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
Five districts were in the eye of the storm with IMD chief Dr. L.S. Rathore identifying Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts in Odisha and Srikakalum in Andhra Pradesh as those that is likely to be worst hit.
Mr. Rathore said the cyclone storm over east central Bay of Bengal currently lay 450 km southeast of Gopalpur and warned that it will be accompanied by a storm surge of up to three metres in the districts that will bear the brunt.
“Cyclone Phailin is a very severe cyclone,” Mr. Rathore said in Delhi. Mr. Rathore said the storm, which will hit the coast at 6 p.m., is unlikely to develop into a super cyclone. Phailin was named by Thailand and it means sapphire in Thai.(PTI)