As the depression in the Bay of Bengal intensified and was likely to turn into a cyclonic storm in the next two days, the Odisha government on Tuesday sounded a cyclone alert and asked the Union Home Ministry to keep helicopters ready for rescue and relief operations.

The depression over the north Andaman Sea might intensify into a deep depression and a cyclonic storm by Wednesday, an official release said.

“The prediction, as of now, is that the system may make a landfall on October 12,” Special Relief Commissioner Pradip Kumar Mohapatra said here. “The State government may require the assistance of the defence forces especially the Indian Air Force” The Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority were requested to keep IAF helicopters and NDRF personnel ready for deployment at short notice, he said.