20:02 Train services resume after Phailin onslaught:
With the situation improving in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin in Odisha, the East Coast Railway today resumed train services and ran some special trains to carry stranded passengers.
The Crisis Management Group of ECoR has been regularly evaluating the situation with Railway Emergency Teams stationed with sufficient manpower and materials in advance at 25 stations considered most likely to be affected, an ECoR official said.
It was decided to run some special trains to carry the stranded passengers.
The Bhubaneswar-Bangariposi Express left Bhubaneswar at 1700 hrs and the Bhubaneswar-Rourkela Intercity Express at 1730 hrs, ECoR sources said.
The Puri-Sambalpur Intercity Express left Bhubaneswar at 1800 hrs instead of 1700 hrs, the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Sampark Kranti Express at 1830 hrs instead of 1530 hrs and the Bhubaneswar-New Delhi Rajdhani Express at 1900 hrs instead of 11.30 hrs.
The Bhubaneswar-CSTM Konark Express left from Visakhapatnam instead of Bhubaneswar during the day, but remained cancelled between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam.
18:10 Relief operations going on in full swing: Srikakulam collector:
Relief and rescue works are going on in full swing in the Phailin-hit Srikakulam district and the situation is expected to become normal by Monday, district collector Saurabh Gaur said
According to him, an old woman died in a wall collapse in Ichapuram mandal last night, which is the sole casualty due to cyclone in the district.
"Most of the people have left relief camps and gone to their respective places. As of now, there are less than 5,000 staying in the relief camps," Gaur said.
Supply of power will be resumed by Sunday evening, he said.
Meanwhile, teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and AP fire department personnel have been clearing highways, blocked with uprooted trees and electricity poles.
16:47 Train services between Howrah and Puri restored:
With cyclone Phailin losing its intensity, the East Coast Railway today restored train services between Howrah and Puri.
However, services between Khurda Road station and Palsa remain suspended as the restoration work on the track is still continuing, an East Coast Railway spokesperson said.
The services were restored between Howarh and Puri after necessary repair of overhead equipment, checking of signalling system and removal of uprooted trees and debris from the railway tracks.
Railways had yesterday cancelled all trains between certain sections as a precautionary measure due to the cyclone.
16:44 Paradip Port suffers brunt of Phailin fury:
Paradip Port has suffered extensive losses due to Cyclone Phailin but massive work is on to restore road connectivity as two of the roads have caved in and about 40,000 trees are uprooted, a Port official said.
"We are assessing the damages. We don't have access to 10 km long channel as five-six metre high tides are there. A group of 20 engineers have embarked on foot survey of accessible areas," Paradip Port Trust, Odisha, Chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra told PTI.
Mishra said though the storm has subsided but situation was grim there and work was on war-footing to restore road connectivity as two major roads had caved in last night.
The Port had shut all cargo operations, plants and machinery and put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality due to Cyclone Phailin.
"As per preliminary assessments about 40,000 trees were uprooted in the vicinity and operations to clear the area have started. Cooked food has been arranged for about 2,000 people sheltered in port area including employees of the port trust," he said.
16:43 Just In: Train services restored between Howrah and Puri section: East Coast Railway spokesperson.
16:42 Odisha cyclone: 8 more bodies found; toll 15:
Eight bodies were found on Sunday from Ganjam district, the worst-hit from cylone Phailin in Odisha, taking the death toll in the natural disaster to 15.
Police said two bodies each were found in Berhampur town, Purosottampur, Ganjam town and Rangelilunda areas.
Besides, a large number of people have been injured in Ganjam district.
Seven people were killed on Saturday due to heavy rains and high-velocity winds in Odisha before the cyclone made landfall at night, including two at Polasara and Khalikote areas of Ganjam district.
Deaths have also been reported from Khurda (2) and one each from Jagatsinghpur, Puri and Balasore districts.
16:05 Odisha starts restoration, rehabilitation works:
With cyclone Phailin weakening, Odisha government has begun relief and restoration work in 12 districts, where many as 80.53 lakh people have been hit.
"Rehabilitation will be a big challenge," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said.
"Top priority was to save lives and we have been successful in it," he told media persons.
Ganjam, where the cyclone hit the land, was the worst hit district followed by Puri.
Other coastal districts Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Gajapati, Jajpur, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Keonjhar, Kandhmal and Nayagarh, were, however, less harmed, Odisha Revenue and Disaster Minister S N Patro said.
"We have already started relief and restoration work. Our people are already in the fields ... The state government's priority is now restoration and rehabilitation of the affected people," he said.
The government has asked the concerned district collectors to suggest to the people to return to their houses if the weather is conducive, he said.
14:17 Phailin forecast was 'more or less' accurate: IMD:
Despite international agencies predicting Phailin as a 'super cyclone', the Indian Meteorological Department stuck to its stand that its intensity would be modest than the one witnessed by Odisha in 1999, and today it said its forecast was "more or less" accurate.
"Being a national meteorological department we cannot predict the way other agencies do as this will lead to a panic like situation. We stuck to our stand and told the media what we have been saying since the start. Our predictions proved to be more or less accurate," said IMD chief L S Rathore.
Many international agencies including the US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Center had termed Phailin as deadly as the super cyclone. IMD had predicted it to be a 'very severe cyclone' and refused to categorise it as a 'super cyclone'.
13:27 1999 super cyclone experience helped us save lives: Odisha CM:
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik: "The experience of the 1999 super cyclone helped us save lives. We have evacuated nine lakh people and minimised loss of human lives. Now the challenge will be rehabilitating people soon; property worth several crores have been lost in the cyclone."
"This is the country's biggest evacuation operation. I thank the selfless efforts made by my government servants. Impact of the cyclone will of course die down with the passage of time, and normalcy will soon return."
12:39 Cyclone Phailin: More than 100 trains cancelled:
More than 100 trains have been cancelled due to cyclone Phailin, said PRO Indian Railways Anil Saxena. 20 trains have been cancelled and 25 trains have been diverted partially. Saxena also said that the Indian railways is reviewing the situation through zonal and general managers and focusing on how to restore the traffic.
12:04 Andhra out of danger now; flood alert in Bihar: IMD:
IMD Director General LS Rathore says there is no danger in Andhra Pradesh now. Advisory now stands for Jharkhand and Bihar, where flood-like situation could arise due to heavy rains
NDRF DIG S S Guleria says teams are carrying out damage assessment and clearing roads. He claims that the road network can be restored by evening
11:47 Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra says quoting preliminary reports that 80,53,000 people in 14,515 villages have been affected by the cyclone
11:43 Worst is over, but rains will continue: IMD:
IMD Director General LS Rathore says the worst in terms of winds is over, rains to continue.
Phailin has moved ahead from the Odisha coast, currently it is 50 km south of Sambalpur.
Heavy to very rains to continue in Odisha and Chhattisgarh for the next 24 hours; Jharkhand to get rains for the next 36 hours, later in Bihar.
IMD has issued flood warning for Bihar as advancing Phailin may lead to heavy rains in the catchment areas of Kosi and Gandak rivers.
11:07 Indian weathermen got it right this time!:
Times of India reports: Better observation data, atmospheric as well as at sea level, superior computational facilities and refined models have seen the Indian Meteorological Department come up with highly accurate predictions on Phailin's strength.
IMD had something to smile about by Saturday evening as Cassandra-like predictions of foreign experts claiming that IMD is vastly underestimating Phailin's power and the prognosis that the cyclone will rival the infamous Katrina turned out to be off the mark.
10:59 Cyclone Phailin stalls Railway network:
With uprooted high tension towers and signals, damaged platforms and tracks blocked by trees due to high-velocity winds of Cyclone Phailin in Odisha, East Coast Railways on Sunday said no trains were moving in Bhadrak-Khurda Road-Palasa-Vizianagaram sections.
While the up line signal of Ichhapuram station was uprooted, the overbridge and platform shelter at Brahmapur, Ganjam, Somepeta, Balugaon, Mancheswar and Khurda Road stations were either blown away or damaged, ECor Railway said in a press release.
With the wind speed of the cyclone gradually reducing, engineering, traction distribution and signalling and telecommunication staff have been kept in readiness to visit the affected spots by tower wagon and diesel light engines.
The overhead equipment at Khurda Road-Palasa was not functioning and an attempt to charge it had failed, the release said.
The overhead equipment at Cuttack-Paradeep and Barang-Khurda Road sections were also not functioning and tower wagons from Bhadrak and Jajpur-Keonjhar Road had already moved out to the sections, the release said.
"Details of sectional damages can be assessed only after the relief team reports back," it said.
High tension towers were uprooted at many locations in Khurda RoadBrahmapur section.
A large number of uprooted trees were lying on the track and overhead equipment, the release said.
The running of major trains between Kolkata and Chennai passing through Odisha would be affected due to these developments, ECoR sources said.
09:09 Phailin to weaken gradually into cyclonic storm by noon: IMD:
IMD bulletin issued at 0830 hours
The very severe cyclonic storm, Phailin over Odisha moved northwards during past 3 hours with a speed of 20 kmph and lay centred at 0530 hrs IST of 13 th October 2013 over Odisha near latitude 20.0 0 N and longitude 84.5 0 E, close to Phulbani. The system would move northwards for some more time and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm by noon of today and into a deep depression by evening.
Warning for Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal
Heavy rainfall: Rainfall at most places with heavy to very heavy falls at a few places and isolated extremely heavy falls (≥ 25 cm) would occur over Odisha during next 24 hours and isolated heavy to very heavy fall during subsequently 24 hrs. Rainfall at most places with isolated heavy to very heavy falls would occur over north coastal Andhra Pradesh during next 24 hours.
Gale wind: Gale wind speed of 130-140 kmph prevailing at 0530 hrs IST would gradually decrease to 80-90 kmph by noon and further to 50- 60 kmph by today evening over Odisha.
Damage expected over Odisha: Extensive damage to kutcha houses. Partial disruption of power and communication lines. Disruption of rail and road traffic. Potential threat from flying debris. Flooding of escape routes. Extensive damage to agricultural crops.
State of Sea: It will be very high along and off Odisha coast and very rough to high along & off north Andhra Pradesh and very rough along & off West Bengal coast during next 12 hours.
Action suggested: Fishermen are advised not to venture into sea along north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coast during next 24 hours. Judicious regulation of rail and road traffic in vulnerable areas. People in affected areas to remain indoors.
Just In: NDMA chief M Shashidhar Reddy Reddy says intensity of cyclone has reduced to 90-100 kmph in Odisha's Gopalpur
08:50 Navy rushes in relief supplies; more diving teams deployed: Indian Navy deployments for Phailin relief
: INS Investigator has sailed from Port Blair with relief supplies; INS Jalashwa and INS Ranvijay standing by at Vizag. In addition to 6 teams deployed to Odisha yesterday, 10 more diving teams deployed to Srikakulam.
Security Expert Nitin Gokhale on Twitter:
@nitingokhale In minimising loss of life & damage to property the pre-Phailin steps by the governmentt must rank as first in India's disaster mitigation efforts
08:28 Emergency numbers in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh:
Odisha State Emergency Operation Centre No 0674-2534177, Ganjam- 06811-263978, Puri- 06752-223237, Jagatsinghpur- 06724-220368, Kendrapada- 06727-232803, Bhadrak- 06784-251881, Balasore- 06782-262674, Mayurbhanj- 06792-252759, Jajpur- 06728-222648, Cuttack- 0671-2507842, Khordha- 06755-220002, Nayagarh- 06753-252978, Gajapati- 06815-222943, Dhenkanal- 06762-221376, Keonjhar- 06766-255437
Andhra Pradesh emergency numbers: Srikakulam 0894-2240557/ 9652838191, Visakhapatnam- 1800425002, Vizianagaram- 1077/0892-2236947, East Godavari- 0884-2365506, West Godavari- 0881230617, Krishna- 086722525 Toll Free 1077, Guntur- 08632345103/08632234990, Nellore- 08612331477
Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra tells a news channel that Phailin has caused extensive damage in Gopalpur and Brahmpur.
Power lines and communication infrastructure have been damaged extensively
08:18 Phailin expected to weaken gradually: NDMA:
The severe cyclonic storm Phailin that has pounded Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh is expected to weaken gradually as it moves North-Northwestwards, according to NDMA.
08:16 News just in: No casualties have been reported so far due to cyclone Phailin, says National Disaster Response Force Chief Krishna Chowdhary.
08:16 Will do everything possible, Gandhi assures Odisha, AP:
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday night said the government and her party will do everything possible to stand up to any eventuality and every emergent situation in the wake of cyclone Phailin in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Gandhi has been in constant touch with Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, taking regular stock of the ground situation in the two states.
Gandhi, who has been continuously monitoring the developments, said her prayers and that of the entire Congress party are with the people of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh "in this hour of great natural calamity".
A statement issued by the Congress said Sonia Gandhi has been continuously monitoring the developments in wake of the cyclone.
"The Congress party and the government have been and will be doing every thing possible to stand up to any eventuality and every emergent situation," Gandhi said.