Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

In Odisha's Ganjam district, six persons are missing after a house was washed away in flash floods. 15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) along with the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) are deployed at different places.

"We have not yet sought help of Army".

The students' union poll across the state scheduled for October 11 has been cancelled, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi said. The IMD has also warned people living in low-lying areas to take preventive measures as there is a risk of trees falling due to wind speeds that could reach 100 kmph.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, but the storm wreaked havoc on infrastructure, blocking roads and hampering emergency work.

The system is now moving northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and it will weaken gradually, it said. It crossed Palasa in Srikakulam district between 4.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m., said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Several districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kandhamal, Boudh and Dhenkanal were expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall till Thursday.

Heavy to very heavy rain is being forecast for Assam and Meghalaya; heavy to very heavy over plains of Bengal, Odisha and the North-Eastern States; and heavy rain over Jharkhand, hills of Bengal, and Arunachal Pradesh.

Cyclones often form over the Bay of Bengal from April to November.

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Red alert has been issued for districts of north Andhra Pradesh & south Odisha coasts.

On speaking about the area which is likely to face a severe wrath of the cyclone, " Srikakulam is under the danger radar since the place is close in proximity with the cyclone movement.

Speaking to TNM, Vizianagaram Superintendent of Police G Pala Raju said, "As far as this district is concerned, two mandals, Gummalakshmipuram and Parvathipuram, were affected the most".

Fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea in view of adverse weather conditions, he added.

Those evacuated were being kept in special shelters and pregnant women were moved to state-run health centres and hospitals, the commissioner said.

Bishnupada Sethi said Gajapati was the most affected district and a report over the damage has been sought from the Collector.

Trees and electricity poles were uprooted, officials told PTI, with roads and houses also damaged.

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