Beaches in Odisha's Puri are likely to bear the brunt of strong waves and heavy rain as Cyclone Jawad is expected to hit the coastal areas today.
Droves of people in Puri began evacuating the beach areas ahead of the storm, carrying their makeshift shops and belongings to safety.
In a video tweeted by news agency ANI this morning, several locals were seen taking their makeshift shops away from the beach as the advancing storm brought strong winds.
The Odisha Police could also be seen expediting the process of evacuating citizens from dangerous locations in the city.
"The safety of the people is our topmost priority. Everyone present at the Puri beach has been asked to vacate the area. Shelter homes have been established in Puri; all are requested to follow government guidelines on CycloneJawad," Puri Superintendent of Police Kanwar Vishal Singh told ANI.
A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal is heading towards coast and heavy rain is expected in parts of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Cyclone Jawad is predicted to move along the coast and touch the shores of Puri around noon on Sunday, the Indian Meteorological Department has said. "It is likely to weaken gradually and move nearly northwards during next 12 hours and then north-northeastwards along Odisha coast reaching near Puri around December 5 noon as a Deep Depression. Subsequently, it is likely to weaken further and continue to move north-northeastwards along Odisha coast towards West Bengal coast," it said.
Odisha has deployed several rescue teams across the southern coast, which includes National Disaster Response Force, State Fire Services and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force.
The state has also stopped fishing activities along the entire coastline. An ongoing classical dance festival, Konark Festival, and a sand art event, International Sand Art Festival, in Puri district have been cancelled.
The centre has reviewed the preparations being undertaken to tackle Cyclone Jawad and has directed all agencies involved to ensure no life is lost and property damage is minimum.