Bhubaneswar: Rains and powerful winds triggered by cyclonic storm Laila lashed Orissa`s winding coast Friday.
The storm was centred near Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh early in the day, said the Bhubaneswar meteorological centre. It is expected to hit the state.
Orissa has been lashed by rains since Thursday evening. Gopalpur town in Ganjam district and Puri have received about 4 cm of rains.
Authorities Thursday evening evacuated nearly 4,000 people from three villages near the sea at Gopalpur fearing the area could be worst hit by the sea surges.
"The people will be kept in nearby cyclone shelters till the situation becomes normal," District Collector V.K. Pandian told reporters.
Officials fear flash floods in several areas. "We are fully prepared," said Special Relief Commissioner Nikunja Sundaray.
"Hundreds of relief and rescue teams have been deployed in all vulnerable areas," he added.
Laila, which hit the southern part of Andhra Pradesh Thursday, caused havoc in coastal areas, killing 27 people and inundating scores of villages.