Odisha Sighs Relief as Cyclone Sitrang Weakens, Light Rain Forecast for Coastal Areas


After a tense few days bracing for Cyclone Sitrang, coastal Odisha finally breathed a sigh of relief on Friday, December 30th, 2023. The cyclone, once packing winds of up to 100 kmph, significantly weakened over the Bay of Bengal and is now expected to make landfall near Barisal in neighboring Bangladesh later in the day.

A Weakened Threat:

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) confirmed in its latest bulletin that Sitrang has gradually lost intensity, now classified as a depression with wind speeds between 40-50 kmph gusting to 60 kmph. This significant decrease in strength ensures that the severe threat to Odisha posed earlier has thankfully subsided.

Rainfall Update:

While the major danger has passed, residents in coastal districts like Ganjam, Puri, Balasore, and Kendrapara can still expect light to moderate rainfall throughout Friday, with isolated heavier showers possible. The IMD has issued an orange alert for these districts, advising fishermen to stay away from the sea and urging residents to remain cautious.

District Rainfall Intensity Potential Impacts
Ganjam Light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy showers Localized flooding, possible disruption of transport and communication
Puri Light to moderate rainfall with isolated heavy showers Similar to Ganjam
Balasore Light to moderate rainfall Moderate risk of localized flooding
Kendrapara Light to moderate rainfall Potential for waterlogging in low-lying areas
District-wise Rainfall Forecast for Odisha

Relief Efforts Ongoing:

Despite the weakened threat, the Odisha government remains vigilant and has deployed disaster response teams in vulnerable areas. Relief materials like food, water, and medical supplies are readily available, and emergency shelters have been opened in case of need.

Navigating the Aftermath:

While the immediate threat may have diminished, coastal communities in Odisha should remain cautious in the coming hours. Flash floods remain a possibility, and wind gusts could still cause damage to infrastructure. Staying informed through official weather updates and following local advisories is crucial.

A Reminder of Preparedness:

The easing of Cyclone Sitrang serves as a valuable reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness. Regular awareness campaigns, robust infrastructure, and efficient response mechanisms are vital for mitigating the impact of such events in the future.

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