SABC News - High alert as cylone Phailin intensifies along India:Saturday 12 October 2013

High alert as cylone Phailin intensifies along India

Saturday 12 October 2013 10:02

REUTERS

Meteorological department has confirmed the possibility of  strong cyclonic winds in the region.

Meteorological department has confirmed the possibility of strong cyclonic winds in the region.(REUTERS)

Cyclone Phailin heading towards India's southeast coast intensified on Saturday.

A senior scientist of the meteorological department has confirmed the possibility of  strong cyclonic winds in the region.   

A scientist of the Meteorological Department, BK Bandhopadhyay said that the cyclonic wind is in Gopalpur and will be crossing the coast by the evening.      

"A very severe cyclonic storm Phailin which is about 260 Kilometres is in Gopalpur and by this evening it will cross the coast near Gopalpur,"said Bandhopadhyay.   

The Meteorological Department in India's eastern state of Odisha issued a cyclone warning in 14 districts of the province.   

Bandyopadhyay said storms are expected to be above astronomical heights.        

"As far as storms are concerned, it will be from 3 to 3.5 meters above astronomical heights.

It will be over 4 districts that is Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khordha, and Ganjam and Odisha and Srikakulam of North Andhra Pradesh," said Bandhopadhyay.   

According to the Meteorological Department, Phailin was classified as a Category 1 cyclonic storm on a scale that rises to Category 5.   

Authorities in the affected states had been stocking shelters with rations, as well as putting disaster response teams on standby.   

It was predicted to strengthen to Category 3 before reaching land between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and the port town of Paradeep in Odisha. Satellite images showed the storm in the Bay of Bengal to be about half the size of India.   

The Odisha government cancelled holidays for civil servants in vulnerable areas during the Hindu festival of Dussehra and ordered relief and rescue officials to spread out as Phailin - some 800 kms from the Indian coastline - moved closer.   

Authorities in the affected states had been stocking shelters with rations, as well as putting disaster response teams on standby.   

Cyclonic trends in India's eastern coast last from April to December with severe storms, often displacing thousands of people and even causing dozens of deaths.   

In 1999, a 'super-cyclone' battered the coast of Orissa for 30 hours with wind speeds reaching 300 kph. It killed 10 000 people.   

The country's cyclone season runs from April to December, with severe storms often causing dozens of deaths, evacuations of tens of thousands of people from low-lying villages and wide damage to crops and property.  

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