A deep depression over the Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm named Cyclone Jawad on Friday afternoon, the India Meteorological Department said. The cyclone is expected to hit the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday morning.

By Sunday afternoon, it will make landfall on the coast of Puri in Odisha. From there, it will move towards West Bengal.

The weather agency said that as of 5.30 pm on Friday, Jawad was centred about 300 km south southeast of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and 480 km south southwest of Puri. It said the cyclonic storm will move north northwestwards till Saturday morning and then recurve north northeastwards reaching near Puri coast around Sunday afternoon.

The weather department has forecast “heavy to very heavy rainfall” over north coastal Andhra Pradesh and south coastal Odisha on Saturday.

A red alert had been issued for Odisha’s Kendrapara, Puri, Khordha, Ganjam and Gajapathi districts for Saturday. In Andhra Pradesh, an orange alert has been sounded for Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts.

Wind speed along the coasts of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh is expected to rise up to 80 to 90 kilometres per hour on Saturday evening.

West Bengal, Tamil, Nadu and Andaman and Nicobar Islands are also expected to be affected by the cyclone. The National Disaster Response Force has deployed 62 teams in the four states and one Union Territory to deal with the storm.

West Bengal, along with Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram, is likely to receive heavy rainfall on Sunday and Monday, the weather office said.

The West Bengal government has started taking measures to avoid devastation due to the storm, reported PTI. A government official said that residents in low-lying areas, especially in South 24 Parganas and East Medinipur districts, have been moved to higher regions and safety shelters.

Disaster management teams have been positioned in several coastal areas for rescue operations.

In view of the weather warning, all schools in Andhra Pradesh’s Visakhapatnam and Srikakulamdistricts will remain closed on Saturday, ANI reported. Sixty-five trains from Visakhapatnam have been cancelled for Friday and Saturday.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma said that 11 National Disaster Response Force and three State Disaster Response Force teams have been positioned in the three north coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam on Friday. In addition to this, Sharma said, six Coast Guard teams and 10 Marine police teams have also been kept ready for emergency operations.

State Disaster Management Authority Commissioner K Kanna Babu said that flooding of roads, uprooting of trees and waterlogging in low-lying areas and closure of underpasses mainly in urban areas was expected due to the cyclonic storm.

Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, who held a review meeting with officials of the three north coastal district, has directed authorities to open relief camps and shift people there from vulnerable areas.

The chief secretary said 46,322 tonnes of rice, 1,018 tonnes of dal, 391 tonnes of sugar and 41,032 litres of edible oil have been dispatched to the north coastal districts. Drinking water tankers and diesel power generators have also been sent there.

Mrityunjay Mahapatra, the director general of meteorology at IMD, said electric and telephone lines in the states could be disrupted because of the rainfall.

Mohapatra said the storm would come closest to land near Puri around Sunday noon, reported The Indian Express. Jawad would have the maximum impact when it intensifies into the severe cyclone category and bring with it very heavy rainfall and gusty winds with speed picking up to 110 kmph between Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Meanwhile, the National Eligibility Test, scheduled for Saturday, have been postponed. New dates would be announced later.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting to review the preparations for tackling the storm. He directed officials to take all the necessary measures to ensure that the people are evacuated safely and that essential services are not disrupted.