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Cyclone intensifies, to hit Odisha on Saturday (Oct)

The Times of India , New Delhi 11th October, 2013

Rajaram Satapathy 
BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Thursday geared up its rescue and relief operation system after the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) confirmed that cyclonic storm Phailin would hit the Odisha coast by the evening of October 12.

"The depression that formed over north Andaman Sea on Tuesday has since become a very severe cyclonic storm. It was detected about 650km from Paradip and 700km from Gopalpur at 5.30pm, moving in the north-west direction. Three days of analysis of the storm's movement indicates it will cross between Kalingapatnam ( Andhra Pradesh) and Paradip by the evening of October 12 evening with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185kmph," IMD Bhubaneswar centre director Sarat Sahu said.

He said the landfall would be preceded by winds of up to 65kmph starting from Friday. "It will increase in intensity with gale wind speed reaching 175-185kmph at the time of landfall," he said. Sea waves up to seven ft high were expected during the cyclone, he added.

The Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) office here said four coastal districts - Ganjam, Khurda, Puri and Jagatsinghpur - are likely to bear the brunt of the storm. Under its impact, however, the entire state is expected to receive heavy rain starting from the morning of October 12.

Puri district collector Naba Kumar Nayak has advised tourists to cancel plans of visiting the holy town at least for a week from Friday.

"Hotels have been advised to discourage tourists from staying there in view of the impending natural calamity," the collector said.

Considering the present situation, chief minister Naveen Patnaik has cancelled his scheduled visit to New Delhi on Thursday to review disaster management preparations.

The government cancelled the Puja holidays of employees in all 30 districts and ordered the secretariat here and district offices to remain open.