Bhubaneswar: The landfall of cyclone Gulab was ahead of predicted time because the speed of the system increased by around 8 kmph. Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Kumar Jena said, “We were expecting the landfall process by midnight but it started by 6 pm as the speed of the system increased from 16 kmph to 24 kmph.”
The process of landfall has already commenced and shall continue for 3 hours till 9:30 pm. The path of Gulab will be towards north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coast. It is likely to make landfall at Tekkeli, 25 kms north of Kalingapatnam in AP, about 95 kms south of Gopalpur.
“Since, right side of the Cyclone’s path experiences more rain and wind as compared to the left, we have placed all districts of south Odisha on high alert,” said Jena.
After landfall, five districts – Gajapati, Kandhamal, Ganjam, Rayagada, and Koraput will witness heavy rainfall. By today night, the system will enter Koraput and leave Odisha by forenoon of Monday.
So far, 16,000 people have been evacuated to safe shelters. Around 600 pregnant women, elderly and differently-abled people have been shifted to safe shelters and hospitals. In need arises more people will be shifted, the SRC added.
“We will monitor the wind speed and rainfall during the night on Sunday. The situation in Gajapati and Rayagada will be closely watched as these are landslide prone districts,” the SRC added.