Bhubaneswar: Cyclonic storm 'Roanu' over Bay of Bengal moved northeastwards and lay centred around 280 km southwest off Gopalpur coast on Friday as rains coupled with gusty surface winds lashed several parts of Odisha.
The system is likely to move further northeastwards along and off Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast and intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by tonight, the Meteorological centre here said.
The system is likely to cross south Bangladesh coast between Khepupara and Cox's Bazar by tomorrow night or early morning of May 22 as a cyclonic storm, the Met office said.
Rain and thundershower lashed many places in Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, and Balasore in Odisha, disrupting normal life, the weatherman said.
The MeT office also predicted heavy to very heavy rain at a few places over coastal Odisha and heavy to very heavy at one or two places over interior Odisha during next 48 hours.
In view of the weather conditions, Distant Warning Signal Number Two (DW-II) was replaced by Local Cautionary Signal Number Three (LC-III) at all ports in the state.
Gusty surface wind from Southeasterly direction with 60 to 70 kmph speed and gusting to 80 kmph in South Odisha Coast, and 45 to 55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph in North Odisha Coast would prevail along and off Odisha Coast.
Sea condition is very likely to be rough to very rough along and off Odisha coast, the Met office said.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea off the Odisha Coast.
As a precautionary measure, the state government has already issued alert in at least 12 districts in coastal, southern and northern regions asking authorities to prepare for any eventuality, Chief Secretary A P Padhi said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed all the departments to remain alert to face any eventuality due to cyclone 'Roanu'.
The Chief Minister also held a video conference meeting with the collectors of coastal and southern districts last evening.
Meanwhile, the state government has cancelled the leaves of government employees today and tomorrow which may be extended depending on the situation.
While 10 teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service personnel have been kept ready, Padhi said, the government will arrange more personnel if required.