The School of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences of Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, which has been tracking Phailin since October 7, said there was no chance of the severe cyclonic storm fizzling out.

“Ever since its evolution as low pressure area from Andaman Sea, the direction and movement of Phailin had been steady. It will hit south of Chilika Lake between 5.30 pm and 8.30 pm on Saturday,” said Professor U.C. Mohanty, one of India’s foremost experts on atmospheric science and visiting professor at IIT Bhubaneswar.

“On Friday, white clouds have started out-flowing from Phailin indicating that coastal Odisha is bracing for the worst. Apart from the destructive wind of cyclonic storm, several parts of coastal Odisha would be inundated as we expect 40 to 50 cm rainfall would occur within very short period,” Prof. Mohanty said.

Prof. Mohanty said the impact of cyclone would be very devastative within a 20-kilometre radius of south of Chilika Lake.

The direction of wind of Phailin would be anti-clock wise and wind would pile up on the right side of eye of storm, which means stormy weather would remain in force for several hours in Paradip.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed people to not panic as the State government was well-prepared to face the calamity. He warned against hoarding of food items.

A high level meeting chaired by Mr. Patnaik resolved to complete the evacuation of people residing in low lying area by Friday evening. According to IIT Bhubaneswar, sea surge measuring up to 3.3 metre would take place along the coast.

National Disaster Response Force has mobilized about 28 teams to different districts such as Khurda, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara in view of the impending storm.

“We have opened a control room here. Besides, a member of National Disaster Management Authority is keeping track of the situation. We are keeping two teams at Biju Patnaik Airport for responding to any crisis. Besides, three units have been asked to stay on high alert at our base at Mundali on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar,” said NDRF Director General of Police S. H. Buleria after the coordination meeting.

NDRF has also established close coordination with Indian Air Force. IAF choppers would make sorties from NDRF’s helipad at Mundali. Moreover, a ship of Indian Navy has also been kept ready to take up rescue operation after cyclone hit the coast.