The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has reportedly put Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on a cyclone alert as heavy rains hit different parts of the two states.
The chief ministers of both the states have asked authorities to be prepared to face cyclone Roanu. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has instructed the collectors and district administrations to keep food and drinking water supplies and medical support ready.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has instructed offcials to put up relief camps and evacuate people from vulnerable areas. "Post special officers in each mandal to oversee relief operations. National Disaster Response Force, State Disaster Response and fire service personnel should focus on rescue operations wherever required... Closely observe the movement of Roanu and assess its impact," the chief minister was quoted by the Times of India as saying.
Earlier, the Hindu reported that Roanu, over west central Bay of Bengal, continues to gain strength and is likely to move north-northeastwards along and off the coast of Andhra Pradesh during the next 12 hours and thereafter north eastwards, according to a report by the Hindu. It will likely intensify into a strong cyclonic storm by tonight, the daily quoted the IMD as saying.
With Kolkata waking up to an overcast sky on Thursday, the IMD expects the city to receive spells of thunder shower over the next few days, as reported by the Times of India. The decrease in temperature will give Kolkatans the much-needed respite from the scorching heat they have been reeling under for days.
IMD's Deputy Director General of Meteorology GC Debnath was quoted by TOI as saying: "We expect heavy rain for Kolkata and other districts of West Bengal especially the coastal region right from Thursday night."
The Hindu reported that the cyclonic storm is stationed at about 80 kms south-southeast of Machilipatnam, about 290 km south-southwest of Visakhapatnam and 160 km south-southwest of Kakinada. It is about 1,229 kms away from Kolkata, according to the TOI report, which also states that the cyclone is not likely to cause much damage to Bengal but heavy rains are expected in the next 48 hours as it nears the Bengal coast.
"From Machilipuram the cyclone is expected to move towards Orissa, Bengal and Bangladesh coast in the next 48 hours. We have issued warning for fishermen not to venture into the sea till further notice," Debnath said, the TOI reported.
Continuing north eastwards, Roanu is likely to cross the south Bangladesh coast between Khepupura and Cox's Bazaar as a cyclonic storm on the night of May 21 and early morning of May 22, reported the Hindu.
A spokesperson for the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC), Visakhapatnam, was quoted by the Hindu as saying that the state of sea would be high to very high and very rough during the next 24 hours.