Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 20:
Cyclone Roanu, the first tropical cyclone of the season, continues to gain strength and currently lays centred at about 280 kilometres off Gopalpur coast over west-central Bay of Bengal.
In view of the approaching cyclone, Distant Warning Signal Number Two (DW-II) has been replaced by Local Cautionary Signal Number Three (LC-III) at all ports in Odisha. Fishermen have been warned against venturing into the sea, said Regional Meteorological Centre.
Under its influence, heavy to very heavy rains are expected to lash coastal parts of Odisha, with few places may recording extremely heavy showers within next 48 hours.
Downpours may extend into other parts of Odisha depending on the exact track of the cyclone. A track closer to the coast could bring 100 mm (4 inches) or more of rainfall to areas as far north of Puri, with occasional downpours hitting Balasore.
Apart from the collectors of six coastal districts, Odisha Government today asked the collectors of neighbouring six districts to stay on alert and prepare for any eventualities. Evacuation plan is ready and people living low-lying areas have also been alerted, said Odisha Special Relief Commissioner.
The districts that have been put on alert are Khurda, Cuttack, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Mayurbhanj, Gajapati, Balasore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Kendrapara, Puri and Jagatsinghpur.
The system is moving at a speed of 15-16 kmph. The cyclone is expected to make landfall near south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox Bazaar on May 22 morning, said IMD.
Squally winds of 80 kmph – 90 kmph gusting up to 110 kmph can be seen blowing over the region, said Skymet weather.
Both rains and winds are of damaging potential, especially over low lying areas. Sea conditions will be very rough and fishermen and locals are advised against venturing out in the sea for at least next 48 hours, the agency added.