TAMIL NADU

Cyclone warning at Puducherry, Cuddalore

Cyclone Phailin is likely to cross Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast on October 12 but Puducherry and Cuddalore administrations, the two coastal areas that have borne the brunt of cyclonic storms in the past, have sounded a cyclone warning, unwilling to take any risks.

Flag Number 2 was hoisted at the Puducherry port on Thursday, followed by a warning issued by the Meteorological Department in connection with formation of cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal. If needed, the warning would be increased, officials said.

Fishermen were advised not to venture into sea till further announcement and people living along the coastline were told to be cautious. Electricity, Public Works and Health Departments and municipalities had been asked to closely follow the developments so as to take immediate steps in the event of untoward incidents. However, a fisherman said the sea remained calm on Thursday. But, it might turn very rough on Friday onwards.

According to information, the cyclonic storm, Phailin, formed over east central Bay of Bengal, has intensified into a cyclonic storm and lay centred 850 km southeast of Visakhapatnam at 5.30 am on Thursday. The system is predicted to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours and will continue to move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast, between Kalingapatnam and Paradip on Saturday, with a maximum sustained wind speed of 175-185 kmph.

Special Correspondent from Cuddalore adds:

In view of the brewing Cyclone Phailin in the Bay of Bengal, the authorities hoisted the cyclone warning signal No. 2 in the Cuddalore Port on Thursday. The official version had it that though the cyclone would not head towards Cuddalore the signal would adequately warn the fishermen against venturing into the choppy sea.

The inclement weather condition and the official warning forced the fishermen to stay on shore for the second consecutive day on Thursday.