Very heavy rains are expected over north Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim in the next 48 hours, with cyclonic storm Phailin now closer to the Chattisgarh-Odisha border, the National Disaster Management Authority has said.
National Disaster Response Force officials said the wind system is expected to move towards Nepal with heavy rains creating a threat of floods in river Kosi.
Precautionary measures have been taken and rescue teams deployed in the areas that could be hit by cyclone, NDMA Vice Chairman M Shashidhar Reddy said.
NDRF Director General Krishna Chaudhary said 29 relief and rescue teams are presently working in Odisha, three teams are working in Bihar and two in Jharkhand. Two teams have been kept as back-up in Bihar and 19 teams have also been deployed in Andhra Pradesh, he said.
"We have been able to rescue 1,018 people today from Andhra Pradesh; information provided by the meteorological department helped us carry out rescue operations in time," Chaudhary said.
Reddy said the intensity of Cyclone Phailin today reduced significantly to 55-65 kmph and is expected to further slow down to 40-50 kmph.
The NDMA said relief work is being carried out by NDRF teams and 685 km of roads have already been cleared. As many as 1,073 relief camps are working in Odisha at present and 135 in Andhra Pradesh.
Image: Children look out from the window of a school in Odisha ' Photograph: Reuters