Severe cyclone Asani neared the east coast, packing gale-force winds up to 105 kmph, amid indication of gradual weakening on Tuesday, the India meteorological department said.
The cyclone, which was moving at 5 kmph in the morning, gained speed to 25 kmph later in the day, as it lays centred around 210 km south-southeast of Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh and 530 km south-southwest of Gopalpur in Odisha, according to the latest bulletin issued at 4.30 pm.
The system is expected to recurve on Tuesday evening and move parallel to the coast in the north-northeast direction.
IMD director general Mrutunjay Mohapatra said that cyclone Asani has already achieved maximum stage of intensification and is gradually getting weakened.
"After nearing the Andhra Pradesh coast in the evening, the system will change its course and move off and along the Odisha coast," he said.
Mohapatra said that the severe cyclonic storm will weaken into a cyclonic storm on Wednesday and turn into a deep depression on Thursday.
Bhubaneswar Regional Meteorological Centre Director H R Biswas said the severe cyclonic storm has already started losing steam.
Light to moderate rainfall took place in Puri and Khurda, while very heavy downpour is likely to occur in some places in north coastal Andhra Pradesh and coastal Odisha from Tuesday night.
He said the gale-force wind speed will decline to 80-90 kmph by Tuesday night and to 60-70 kmph by Wednesday evening.
The met department has warned fishermen against venturing into deep sea till Thursday, as Odisha braced for heavy rain in the coastal areas.
Rainfall was recorded in Ganjam, Puri and Khurda on Tuesday morning.
Special relief commissioner PK Jena said local authorities have been put on alert to face heavy rain and water-logging and asked for evacuation of people from 15 blocks in four coastal districts.
The Ganjam district administration has closed all beaches including Gopalpur for visitors for two days.
Sea condition is likely to remain very high on Tuesday, and become very rough on May 12 before improving thereafter.
Under the influence of the cyclone, Odisha and West Bengal had received heavy to moderate rainfall on Monday.
Meanwhile, the East Coast Railway has put its officials on high alert in the wake of possible heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone and asked them to ensure speedy restoration of railway traffic, a statement said.
It has opened round-the-clock disaster management cells at its headquarters in Bhubaneswar and divisional headquarters in Visakhapatnam, Khurda Road and Sambalpur.
ECoR has positioned special teams for early restoration of tracks, signaling system and electrification and also kept on standby diesel locomotives in case of power failure.
Extensive damage to railway property was witnessed during the super cyclone of 1999, Phailin (2013), Hudhud (2014), Titli (2018), Fani (2019) and Amphan (2020).
All precautionary measures have been taken. Drains have been cleared of silt and vegetation to ensure free flow of rainwater and tree branches trimmed to prevent technical snags on overhead wires, it said.
Patrolmen have also been deployed along the tracks. Sufficient quantities of materials for track and bridge repair have been kept in reserve.
ECoR is also maintaining close coordination with the state government and the IMD.
On the other hand, the state government announced that action under Disaster Management Act will be taken against fishermen venturing into deep seas by not heeding the IMD warning.
"Some information being received that in spite of warning some fishermen r venturing in2 the sea. Dist Admin advised 2 do public miking in the areas & advise fisherfolk not to venture i2 sea till 12th May," the SRC tweeted.
"...if someone doesn't listen & disobey, action under DM Act be taken against them," he added.
The decision was taken after five fishing boats capsized in the sea near Chatrapur in Ganjam district during the day but all 65 fishermen swam ashore.
The incident took place after a boat carrying five fishermen capsized, and it hit four other fishing boats carrying a total of 60 people following which all the vessels sunk, an official said.
This came a day after 11 fishermen from Odisha returning home after buying a new boat in Visakhapatnam were stranded in the sea when the vessel developed a snag. They were later rescued.