Bhubaneswar: With the Cyclone Jawad weakening into a deep depression, Odisha government Saturday scaled down evacuation and shifted ONLY 1,500 people, including 300 pregnant women to safe places, a senior official said.
The IMD in its latest bulletin said that the cyclonic storm 'Jawad', which initially moved over westcentral Bay of Bengal, changed its course and started rolling in northwestwards at a speed of 9 kmph during the past six hours.
The system has now weakened into a deep depression and lay centered over westcentral Bay of Bengal, about 180 km east-southeast of Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), 260 km south of Gopalpur (Odisha), 330 km south-southwest of Puri (Odisha) and 420 km south-southwest of Paradip (Odisha) at 5.30 pm.
It is likely to move north-northeast wards and weaken further into a depression by tomorrow morning and is likely to reach near Puri around Sunday noon. Subsequently, it is likely to continue to move north-northeastwards along Odisha coast towards West Bengal coast and weaken into a well marked low pressure area during subsequent 24 hours, the bulletin said.
IMD's forecast for Odisha for the next 24 hours said that heavy to very heavy rainfall likely to occur at one or two places in Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapada, and Jagatsinghpur districts on Sunday under its influence.
As the depression is approaching towards the coast, squally winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is likely to prevail along and off the Odisha coasts during next six hours. It will gradually increase to 55-65 kmph gusting to 75 kmph till Sunday morning, it said.
Squally winds with speed reaching 50-60 kmph and gusting to 70 kmph will blow over northwest Bay of Bengal off Odisha coast from December 5 morning till afternoon. It would decrease gradually thereafter, the IMD said.
Senior weather scientist U S Dash at the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre said though the system will approach near the Puri coast it will be in the form of a depression and such climatic situation do not come under the landfall process.
The development comes as a major relief for the eastern state already battered by two cyclones - Gulab and Yaas in the past one year.
The entire coastal region of Odisha experienced rainfall on Friday night which gradually lessened during the day on Saturday. Paradip recorded the maximum downpour at 23 mm followed by Chandbali (21), Bhubaneswar (19.6) and Balasore (12) between 8.30 AM and 5.30 PM of Saturday.
The IMD has issued 'red warning' (heavy to very heavy rainfall) at one or two places in Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts, orange warning (be prepared-heavy to very heavy rainfall) at one or two places in Balasore, Bhadrak Kendrapada, Jajpur, Cuttack, Khordha, Ganjam and Gajapati district till 8.30 am on Sunday.
It issued yellow warning (be updated- heavy rainfall) for Nayagarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj till the same time.
Special relief commissioner P K Jena said that only 1500 people, including 300 pregnant women were evacuated in view the decreasing cyclone threat.
People living in low laying area of Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Niali area of Cuttack district were evacuated and kept in shelter houses, he said.
Stating that the state will be impacted by rain and not by wind, Jena said the government has asked the district collectors to access damages caused to the standing crop due to downpour in the coastal region.
The crop damage assessment will be done in next 7 days, Jena said. He said nearly 22,700 fishing boats have already returned from the sea and Chilika lake.
A report from Ganjam district said that the authorities Saturday provided shelter to over 500 fisherfolk from Andhra Pradesh who came ashore along with their trawlers in view of the cyclone.
The fishermen, who are from Visakhapatnam were in Bay of Bengal in 68 trawlers for the past few days and could not retrun to Andhra Pradesh as the sea was very rough, sources said.
We have allowed them to berth their boats at the Gopalpur port. All of them have also been provided shelter facilities. They are now safe, district collector Vijay Amruta Kulange said.