The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that a cyclone will make landfall at the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on late Thursday night.
A deep depression is moving at a speed of about 12 kmph and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours, the cyclone warning division (CWD) of IMD said in the evening on Thursday.
The depression was initially over west-central Bay of Bengal and adjoining areas, but now has moved westward and intensified into a deep depression, IMD said in a bulletin, adding that the depression lay centred at about 300 km east-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha.
"It (the depression) is very likely to move west-northwestwards. It will cross south Odisha north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Kalingapatnam and Puri (Odisha) close to Gopalpur around midnight as a cyclonic storm with wind speeds of 60 kmph to 70 kmph, gusting to 80 kmph," Mritunjay Mohapatra, Additional Director General of the IMD, said.
The advisory said the sea will be very rough over central and north Bay of Bengal and off the Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh coasts.
Thus, the IMD has suggested a total suspension of fishing operations. Fishermen have been advised not to venture into northwest Bay of Bengal and along and off Odisha, West Bengal and north Andhra Pradesh Coasts during next 24 hours.
There will also be a storm surge of about 0.5 metres above astronomical tides and it is likely to inundate low lying areas of districts of Vizianagaram, Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesha and Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts in Odisha at the time of landfall.
Damage Expected over districts of #Visakhapatnam, #Vizianagaram,#Srikakulam of #AndhraPradesh, #Gajapati, #Ganjam, #Khurda, #Nayagarh and #Puri districts of #Odisha.— NDMA India (@ndmaindia) September 20, 2018
While heavy rainfall lashed several parts of Odisha since Wednesday, rain and thundershower are likely to occur in the next 48 hours and it will ease thereafter, the IMD said.
The depression caused heavy rainfall in Balasore, Bhadrak, Puri, Ganjam, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Cuttack, Kendrapara and Jajpur districts on Thursday, a MeT official said.
Under the depression's impact, heavy to very heavy rainfall is likely to occur at some places in Rayagada, Kalahandi, Koraput and Nabarangpur districts till Friday, an IMD bulletin said.
The low pressure system is also likely to trigger heavy to very heavy rainfall in districts like Balangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj on Friday, the MeT centre here said.
In view of adverse weather conditions, the MeT office advised suspension of fishing operations and asked fishermen not to venture into the sea till Friday.
Meanwhile, danger signal no-3 has been hoisted in all ports of Odisha.
Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi has already asked all concerned to remain alert, closely monitor the situation and keep the administrative machinery in full preparedness to meet any eventuality and ensure functioning of control room round-the-clock.
Meanwhile, National Disaster Management Authority has issued a slew of dos and don't before and after the cyclone:
Watch NDMA's video on 'What to do before and during cyclone?'
(With inputs from PTI)