New Delhi: Two days after it made landfall on the east coast at a speed of 200kmph, cyclonic storm `Phailin` turned into a "low pressure area" on Monday evening, MeT department has said.
The storm, reduced to a depression by Monday noon, has further weakened and is lying over southwest Bihar and its neighbourhood as a "well-marked low pressure area" with a speed of 25-35kmph, MeT department said.
Marking of the low pressure area means MeT department is now treating it as a normal phenomenon and no longer as a cyclone.
The weatherman, however, warned that despite its severely reduced intensity, the low pressure area still carries clouds which will lead to heavy rainfall in Bihar and the sub- Himalayan regions of Nepal, West Bengal and Sikkim in the coming 24-48 hours.
"Although the intensity has reduced, we will continue to monitor it for the next 72 hours as we are expecting heavy rainfall in the areas it will pass over," a MeT department scientist said.
The storm, first observed as a low pressure area on Oct. 3 in the North Andaman Sea, gradually turned into a "very severe cyclonic storm" and made landfall on Oct. 12 between Kalingapatnam and Paradip with its epicentre being Gopalpur in Odisha.
The intense storm, coupled with extremely heavy rainfall which lasted for six hours after landfall, battered the east coast on Saturday evening. But by noon on Sunday, the storm had reduced in intensity with its speed coming down to 160-170kmph.
Close to 10 lakh people were evacuated in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to minimise the loss of life from the cyclone as it ripped through the east coast.
According to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the cyclonic storm has led to losses of more than Rs 3,000 crore with over 2.4 lakh houses destroyed in Odisha alone.