Odisha districts alerted as cyclone Leher approaches landfall
Bhubaneswar: Hardly had the dust settled on the devastating Cyclone Phailin ravaging Odisha and Andhra Pradesh`s coastal districts, the two states were bracing for another storm "Cyclone Lehar" to strike.
The state government on Monday put district authorities on alert, especially those of 10 southern and coastal districts, as the severe cyclonic storm is expected to make a landfall between Kalingapatnam and Machhlipatnam of Andhra Pradesh at around noon of November 28.
It is now stationed at about 1000-km south-east of Gopalpur, the weather office said.
"We have alerted the Collectors of 10 districts of south and coastal region. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea,? Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra told reporters.
He, however, said that the storm, which is expected to pack a wind speed 200 kmph during landfall, will have less impact in Odisha than Andhra Pradesh.
As predicted by the MeT department, three coastal districts of Kendrapara, Puri and Jagatsingpur may be affected by the storm while southern districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur and Rayagada, may face heavy showers.
"We have asked the district collectors to ensure that the mandis should remain prepared to store paddy and other grains before the disaster strikes," Mohapatra said.
As per the latest MET prediction, Cyclone Lehar over southeast Bay of Bengal has moved westwards with a speed of 15 km/hr.
The system would intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm and move west-northwestwards and cross the Andhra Pradesh coast between Machillipatnam and Kalingapatnam near the Kakinada coast at around noon of November 28.
The Distant Warning Signal Number Two (DW-II) has been hoisted at Paradip and Gopalpur ports, sources said.
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