Heavy rain accompanied by high-velocity winds, trigerred by very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul', lashed several parts of coastal Odisha on Saturday, uprooting trees and snapping road links. While no casualty has been reported from anywhere so far, a large number of trees and electric poles were rooted out at several places in Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Bhadrak districts, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Jena said.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said the state government is keeping a close watch on the situation and necessary action is being taken to deal with it.
Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have started work to clear the uprooted trees and ensure smooth road traffic in the affected areas, he said.
The very severe cyclonic storm 'Bulbul is now centred over northwest Bay of Bengal, about 95 km east-northast of Paradip and 140 km south-southwest of Balasore in Odisha, Director of Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, H R Biswas, said.
"'Bulbul' is being tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars at Gopalpur, Paradip and Kolkata in addition to other observing platforms," he said, adding, it triggered light-to-moderate rainfall at most places and heavy-to-very heavy downpour in some areas over coastal Odisha.
Gale-force winds reaching speeds of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph were experienced in districts like Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Balasore and Bhadrak, while squally conditions prevailed in most coastal areas, Biswas said.
The SRC said Rajnagar block in Kendrapara district recorded the maximum rainfall of 180 mm since Friday, while Chandbali in Bhadrak registered 150 mm and Tirtol in Jagatsinghpur district 100 mm during the period.
The port town of Paradip recorded a rainfall of around 160 mm, while Chandbali registered 143 mm during this time span, Jena said and added that Dhamra in Bhadrak district experienced wind speeds of 110 kmph.
Around 3,000 people have so far been evacuated from vulnerable and low-lying areas in some coastal regions of the state, officials said.
The Kendrapara district administration has evacuated 1,070 people to safe shelters, and over 1,500 were shifted in Balasore and Jagatsinhgpur districts, they said.