Bhubaneswar: An approaching cyclone will cross Andhra Pradesh and adjoining Odisha coast by Sunday noon and preparations have been made to meet the situation, authorities said Wednesday.
"The deep depression over Andaman Sea and neighbourhood ... intensified into a cyclonic storm 'Hudud' and lay centred at 8.30 a.m. today (Wednesday) over Andaman Sea and adjoining Bay of Bengal," said an India Meteorological Department bulletin.
"It (cyclone) is now crossing Andaman and Nicobar Islands close to Long Island. It would continue to move and, intensified further into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday and subsequently into a very severe cyclone, cross Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur by Oct 12," it said.
It advised fishermen not to venture into the sea and asked those who have ventured into deep sea to return immediately.
People in Odisha are stocking essential items as the cyclonic storm is expected to hit Andhra Pradesh and coastal Odisha.
While the prices of vegetables have increased by 40 percent since Monday, some items like candles have vanished from shops. Traders are also trying to cash in on the sudden rush by increasing prices of essential commodities.
People have resorted to panic buying of items like groceries, vegetables, candles, match boxes, batteries and fuel.
Potatoes, which were available for Rs.25 a kilo Tuesday morning have shot up to Rs.30 a kilo and are expected to further rise.
The memory of cyclonic storm Phailin that hit Odisha Oct 12, 2013 is still fresh in the minds of people. Phailin wreaked havoc in coastal Odisha although there were fewer casualties compared to the killer Super Cyclone of 1999.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Wednesday said the state was fully prepared to meet any eventuality arising out of the cyclonic storm.
"I reviewed the cyclone situation with all the concerned departments. All the preparations have been made to meet the situation. The departments have been asked to prepare contingency plan to deal with it," he said.
The chief minister met officials of several departments including National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), police, water resources, energy and special relief commissioner.
The police administration, fire department, NDRF and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) will hold a meeting to discuss how to carry out the rescue operation, said DGP Sanjeev Marik.
NDRF commandant M.K. Yadav said: "We are fully prepared for the cyclone. There are 12 teams of which one each is already deployed in Balasore and Puri districts."