Saturday 12 October 2013

Track cyclone Phailin with these online resources

The states of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are bracing themselves as the super cyclone Phailin is expected to make landfall in a few hours from now. Heavy rains are already lashing the coastal regions of these two states and the Met department is expecting wind speeds of over 240 km/hour. Landfall is expected to be near Gopalpur in Orissa between 18:00 and 20:00 today.

According to The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD)'s bullein issued early this morning, a'Red Message' warning for North Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Coast about the 'very severe cyclonic storm Phailin' as been revealed. Reportedly, Cyclone Phailin moved northwestwards over the past 6 hours and lay centred at over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral Bay of Bengal at 2:30am on Saturday. It was about 355km south-southeast of Paradip, 320km southeast of Gopalpur, and 315km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam. It would move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts between Kalingapatnam and Paradip, close to Gopalpur (Odisha) by today evening with a maximum sustained wind speed of 210-220kmph.

As usual there are a bunch of resources for you to track the cyclone and also help out with any information about possible missing persons. On Twitter, the hashtag #phailin has already popped up many times and you will see some scary satellite imagery such as this picture from NASA’s weather satellite.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System website has some resources on Phailin that are updated routinely by weather experts. GDACS predicts that the “tropical cyclone is expected to have a high humanitarian impact” on the regions affected by it.

This weather map by the European Commission’s Joint Research Commission (JRC) updates in real time and also shows the projected path of Phailin along with other smaller cyclones and storms generated in its wake. The map is interactive and lets users select different layers over the map.

To find out which places will be affected by Phailin, check out this list prepared by the JRC. Gopalpur and Puri are among the more well-known places in Orissa that will bear the brunt of the cyclone. The list also shows that besides many places in India, Phailin will be affecting large tracts of neighbouring Myanmar.

The Google Person Finder: Tropical Cyclone Phailin could be of help. We expect some more emergency information tools to go live soon after Phailin makes landfall. More resources can be found on this GDACS page.

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