Defence Minister AK Antony asked the armed forces to be ready to move in to Odisha and Andhra Pradesh in view of the impending severe cyclonic storm Phailin.
Two IAF IL-76 aircraft have already airlifted NDRF teams and equipment to Bhubneshwar. IAF assets have been kept on stand by at various bases including Raipur, Nagpur, Jagdalpur, Barrackpore, Ranchi and Gwalior.
It has also kept two C130J aircraft, 18 helicopters, 2 AN-32s aircraft on a standby to move at a short notice besides asking its Eastern Air Command to coordinate relief operation with the task force positioned at Barrackpore.
The intensity of cyclonic storm Phailin is likely to increase as it has crossed the wind speed of 205-215 kmph in the early hours today, the MET department said.
The storm is still 520 km south-southeast of Paradip, 530 km southeast of Gopalpur, and 530km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam.
It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coast between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by evening of 12th October as a "very severe cyclonic storm" with a maximum sustained wind speed of 205-215 kmph. The tide height too is expected to be around 2 meters to 2.5 meters.
"The intensity of the storm has increased in the last few hours. Although it is a very severe cyclonic storm, it still cannot be termed as a super cyclone. We have keeping a close watch on it" said a senior MET department official.