Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin

Updated: October 11, 2013 17:54 IST

Cyclone Phailin, classified as a "very severe" storm, is rushing towards coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh at speeds of 200-220 kilometers (130-135 miles) per hour and is expected to make landfall on Saturday evening.

Some weathermen are describing it as potentially India's version of 'hurricane Katrina', one of the deadliest storms in US history.

Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Cyclone Phailin, classified as a "very severe" storm, is rushing towards coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh at speeds of 200-220 kilometers (130-135 miles) per hour and is expected to make landfall on Saturday evening.

Some weathermen are describing it as potentially India's version of 'hurricane Katrina', one of the deadliest storms in US history.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
The massive storm, that is currently lying in the Bay of Bengal, 450 kilometres away from the coastal town of Gopalpur in Odisha, is threatening to intensify further when it hits the two states.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Satellite images of the storm showed its spinning tails reaching nearly 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) from the east coast of India to the west coast of Myanmar, an area roughly the size of France.

But the Indian Meteorological Department has said that it won't be right to dub Phailin as a super cyclone which had ravaged Odisha in 1999, killing nearly 15,000 people.

Photo courtesy: NASA
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Five districts are preparing for the worst impact of the cyclone: Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh and Ganjam, Puri, Khordha and Jagatsinghapur in Odisha. An official in Ganjam told NDTV that six lakh people could be severely affected in the district.

"1.2 crore people will be affected by the cyclone," M Shashidhar Reddy, Vice Chairman, National Disaster Management Authority said.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
High alert has been sounded in both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Thousands of people have been evacuated from low-lying areas and moved to safer places.

The two states have been warned about extensive damage to homes, communication and power systems and crops in the storm, presaged by heavy rain and strong winds.

Defence Minister AK Antony has asked the Army, Navy and Air Force to be ready for emergency and relief operations.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Seen here, coastline of Visakhapatnam. 23 cyclone centres and more than 100 shelter homes have been set up in the seven districts likely to be most affected by Phailin. 1600 National Disaster Response Force or NDRF personnel have been dispatched to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Seen here, a fisherman sits on the beach near Gopalpur, about 190 kms away from Bhubaneswar. The Odisha government has said it was setting a "zero casualty target" and was seeking "100 percent" evacuation of people in areas likely to be hit by the storm.
Odisha, Andhra Pradesh brace for Cyclone Phailin
Seen here, fishermen pull out a country boat from the Bay of Bengal at Gokhurkuda in Ganjam district 215 kilometers (136 miles) away from the eastern Indian city of Bhubaneswar. Paradip Port in Odisha, one of the 12 major ports in the country, has shut all cargo operations, plants and machinery and put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality due to Cyclone Phailin.

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