OST Weather Bureau,
Bhubaneswar, Oct 12:
The Category 4 tropical storm, PHAILIN lay centred about 380 km south-southeast of Paradip and 360 km southeast of Gopalpur.
“It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast close to Gopalpur by Saturday evening as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 210-220 kmph gusting to as high as 240 kmph,”the latest Met department bulletin said.
A storm surge of 3 to 3.5 metre in height would lash the shores in Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur districts, the bulletin warned.
However, weather experts across the world believe it could turn out to be a super cyclone or a category-5 storm, the strongest of all cyclonic storms.
Based on storm tracking details available on several weather sites, experts say Gopalpur-on-sea, Brahmapur, Rambha and many parts of Ganjam are likely to bear the brunt of the Category Three cyclonic storm PHAILIN as it strikes the Odisha coast with a phenomenal 230 kmph strong wind speed on Saturday night.
The Chilika lagoon and the human settlements around it would also be very badly hit, experts said.
Many parts of Gajapati district, Khordha district including Bhubaneswar and Balugaon, Puri district including Brahmagiri, Satapada, Konark, Astarang , Kakatpur, Nimapara and Pipili as well as coastal villages and towns in Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur districts are also likely to face the severity of the storm, experts said.
There are indications that before the landfall, the storm could gather a destructive wind speed of 200 km per hour and devastate areas that come in its path.
” Ganjam district administration is doing its best to ensure there is zero human casualty. Efforts to evaculate vulnerable areas along the sea and elsewhere will be taken up on Saturday morning. Now the focus is on ensuring all cyclone shelters are ready with food, drinking water, power and medicines,” Dr Krishan Kumar, collector of the district told OST, adding the challenge is enormous and that it is impossible to fathom how bad the disaster could turn out to be.
The latest IMD bulletin says, PHAILIN remained practically stationary and lay centred about 650km southeast of Paradip and 700km southeast of Gopalpur. It would continue to move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by the evening of October 12 as a very severe cyclonic storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 190-200 kmph.
The Met department has also warned of storm surge with height of around 2.0-2.5 m above astronomical tide that would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts during landfall.
Under the influence of this system, rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places with isolated extremely heavy falls (above 25cm) would occur over coastal Odisha commencing from 12th October 2013 morning. It would continue and extend to interior Odisha and coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal from 13th morning. Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy rainfall would also occur at a few places over north coastal Andhra Pradesh commencing from 12th Oct 2013 and isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall would occur over coastal areas of West Bengal commencing from 13th Oct. 2013.
Squally winds, speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph,would commence along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast from 11th morning. It would increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 175-185 kmph along and off coastal districts of north
coastal Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha at the time of landfall. State of Sea along and off Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh coast will be rough to very rough from 11th morning and will become phenomenal on 12th October 2013.
It will be rough to very rough along and off West Bengal coast during the above period.
Storm surge with height of around 2.5-3 metres above astronomical tide would inundate low lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during landfall.
The Met department has warned of extensive damage to kutcha houses, partial disruption of power and communication line, minor disruption of rail and road traffic. potential threat from flying debris, flooding of escape routes and extensive damage to agricultural crops under the impact of the landfall.
US NAVY OBSERVATIONS
Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the US Navy and Military which is closely monitoring the storm says, the system will continue to intensify due to the favourable conditions including warm sea-surface temperatures and the maximum wave height during the peak would be about 18 feet.
The Met department, however, says the storm surge at the shores will be between 1 and 2 metres high.
The JTWC bulletin also states, PHAILIN has continued to deepen and an eye feature has formed. The cyclone is expected to stay on the predicted track throughout its lifespan as it drifts across the Odisha-Andhra coast and makes landfall northeast of Visakhapatnam.