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Odisha on high alert as Cyclone Gulab likely to cross state’s coasts at midnight

Taking no chances, the authorities of Ganjam and Gajapati districts exposed to the onslaught of the storm, have begun the evacuation exercise of people living in vulnerable, low-lying and hilly areas.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

Heavy rain accompanied by gusty wind has disrupted the life in southern districts besides several parts of coastal and western districts as the coastal State stares at the impending cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ with its likely landfall anywhere between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh by midnight hours.

Taking no chances, the authorities of Ganjam and Gajapati districts exposed to the onslaught of the storm, have begun the evacuation exercise of people living in vulnerable, low-lying and hilly areas.

“The cyclonic storm Gulab over west-central Bay of Bengal moved nearly westwards with a speed of 10 kmph during last 6 hours and lay centered at 0830 hrs IST of today about 180 km east-southeast of Gopalpur, said Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre of the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The cyclonic storm ‘Gulab’ (pronounced as Gul-Aab) will make landfall by midnight, said India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday.

“The cyclonic storm is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur around mid-night of 26 September”, tweeted Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena.

The people are being evacuated as it has begun raining heavily. The wind speed is gradually picking up. The shifting of people to safe spots like flood and cyclone shelter buildings has been undertaken since wee hours today, said an official in Gajapati district.

So far around 1,200 people from Gumma, Gosani, Mohana and Raigad blocks have been shifted to temporary shelters. We are also evacuating the locals from hilly areas in anticipation of possible cyclone-induced landslides; the official said adding that two ODRAF and two NDRF teams have been deployed in the district to undertake evacuation and rescue operations.