Giridhar Gopal in Bhubaneswar
The Orissa government on Sunday night sounded an alert as the meteorological office in Bhubaneswar forecast the possibility of a cyclonic storm hitting the state's coastal districts.
A bulletin issued by the Bhubaneswar Cyclone Warning Centre said a cyclonic storm formed over the Bay of Bengal, off the Tamil Nadu coast, had moved northwards on Sunday night and lay centred at about 650 km southeast of Paradip.
"We are analysing the system and will be able to make a definite forecast on Monday," Mrutunjaya Mohapatra, an officer attached to the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre, said.
He, however, added that the centre had already hoisted warning signals at Paradip and Gopalpur ports and warned fishermen not to venture into the sea for the next two days.
Heavy rainfall has been forecast in all coastal districts with wind speeds reaching 60-70 km per hour from Monday afternoon, Mohapatra said.
The state government has alerted concerned district administrative officials to remain prepared for any eventuality, Orissa Disaster Mitigation Authority managing director Arabinda Behera said.
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