Bhubaneswar: With fear gripping people in Odisha at the approach of severe cyclonic storm 'Phailin' to Gopalpur on October 12 where it would make landfall, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) today affirmed it would not be a super cyclone.
"Do not compare the present system with the super cyclone of 1999. We expect Phailin will make landfall with a wind speed at about 175 kmph to 185 kmph. But in case of a super cyclone, the speed is much more," IMD's cyclone warning division chief Dr Mrutunjay Mohapatra told PTI over phone.
He said the system which has a wind speed of above 220 kmph is considered a super cyclone. But in case of Phailin, the expected wind speed is limited within 185 kmph.
The IMD also said that rain, whether heavy or very heavy would begin from Saturday morning.
"We do not expect much rainfall before Saturday," IMD director, Sarat Sahu said, adding that the rains would progress to interior Odisha and coastal areas of Gangetic West Bengal from October 13.
It would also rain, heavily in some areas, over north coastal Andhra Pradesh from October 12 and isolated heavy to very heavy over coastal areas of West Bengal from October 13.
Revenue and Disaster Management minister SN Patro also appealed to the people not to panic.
Meanwhile, people across the coastal region comprising 15 districts were in the grip of fear.
People in the state capital and other places began stocking up food, candles and matchboxes while a large number of labourers fled from the port town of Paradip.
"I purchased a candle for Rs 15 while it was earlier priced at Rs 5," said one Gobind Pradhan.