Odisha has raised its warning as the cyclonic storm "Phailin" over the Bay of Bengal is gaining strength and moving slowly towards the east coast. The storm warning signal has been raised to two from the earlier one as per the Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre. The storm has moved slightly towards northwest, and is centred at about 850 km off Paradip.
It is likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next two days, before making landfall between Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Paradip later with a maximum wind speed of 185 kmph. The cyclone will bring rains and strong winds to the state's coastal belt. The state government is prepared to meet any eventualities, and has directed the collectors of 14 cyclone-prone districts to deploy officials at vulnerable points. People will also be evacuated from low-lying areas to safer places in case of need.
A state level control room set up at state capital Bhubaneswar is coordinating with district control rooms. Meanwhile, people were also seen stocking up on essentials and candles in several places, as they had spent over a week without basic services like electricity, water, sanitation, health care, and communication during the 1999 cyclone. Food prices soared in many places, including in Bhubaneswar, as some unscrupulous traders allegedly hoarded these to make a killing, in case things worsened.