Cyclone Gulab: Odisha, Andhra Pradesh on alert ahead of landfall
The states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh are on alert as the cyclonic storm "Gulab" is expected to cross the eastern Indian coast by Sunday evening. Cyclone Gulab is lay centered over over northwest and west-central Bay of Bengal at 5:30 am on Sunday, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Both states have launched evacuation drives to move people out of vulnerable regions.
Gulab to likely make landfall between Gopalpur, Kalingapatnam tonight
Cyclone Gulab lay centered about 270 km east-southeast of Odisha's Gopalpur and 330 km east of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh at 5:30 am on Sunday, the IMD said. The storm is likely to move nearly westwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Gopalpur around Sunday midnight with wind speeds reaching 75-85 kmph, gusting to 95 kmph.
Extremely heavy rain forecasted in parts of Odisha, Andhra
The IMD has issued an orange alert, warning of light-moderate rainfall at most places with "heavy-very heavy falls at a few places and extremely heavy falls at isolated places very likely" over south Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh. Heavy-very heavy rainfall is likely at isolated places over Telangana and over north interior Odisha and Chhattisgarh, the IMD said.
'Wind warnings mainly for Ganjam, Gajapati'
IMD Bhubaneswar Director HR Biswas said Cyclone Gulab will likely affect southern Odisha. Biswas told ANI, "Malkangiri, Nowrangpur, Koraput, Puri, Kalahandi, and neighboring districts will receive heavy to very heavy rainfall activity. Wind warnings have mainly been issued to Ganjam and Gajapati districts along the coast." The IMD has asked fisherfolk to not venture into the sea up to September 27.
Disaster relief, fire brigade teams deployed
Around 42 teams of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 24 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) squads, and 102 fire brigade teams have been deployed in Gajapati, Ganjam, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, and Kandhamal, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) PK Jena said. Three NDRF teams and one SDRF team have been stationed in north coastal Andhra Pradesh for rescue and relief operations.
Gulab comes 4 months after Cyclone Yaas
Cyclone Gulab comes mere four months after Cyclone Yaas wreaked havoc in Odisha and West Bengal. According to Jena, in terms of intensity, Gulab will be similar to Cyclone Titli, which had struck Odisha in 2018.