The ‘Very Severe’ Cyclone Phailin, which is now centred at 260 km away from the Gopalpur Coast, will hit the land by this evening. The landfall has already begun in Ganjam, Puri, Gajapati, Khordha, Kendrapara and Jagatsinghpur district. Around 300 army jawans have arrived in Odisha in a special flight to deal with the situation. 12 IAF helicopters, 50 doctors from Indian Navy and 29 rescue teams will be engaged in the rescue and relief operations.
Another flight arrived from Allahabad with 60 rescue personnel and a team of doctors. Eight more teams are ready to reach Odisha if there is a need. The flight contained three heavy, two light vehicles and two motor boats.
The ODRAF and NDRF teams have started taking position, as the situation may go beyond control within a few hours from now. Heavy rains lashed Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other parts of Khordha district too. The wind speed is increasing every hour. By evening, the speed may increase to 205-225 km per hour. Latest TV reports suggest that one woman died after a tree fell on her.
Over 3,60,000 people have been evacuated to safer places in the affected areas. The cyclonic storm is expected to hit the Odisha Coast by 8 PM and may recede only in the morning tomorrow.
The Odisha Government is taking all necessary steps to deal with the menace of Cyclone Phailin, which is no less that the Super Cyclone of 1999, which left over 10,000 dead and rendered millions homeless.