The India Meteorological Department on Thursday said that cyclone Bulbul was “very likely” to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal in the next 24 hours. It may head towards the coasts of West Bengal and Bangladesh, the weather department said.

Regional Meteorological Director GK Das said that the cyclone may “turn into a severe cyclonic storm by Thursday midnight and further intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm by Saturday evening”, PTI reported.

“The storm Bulbul is most likely to make landfall somewhere between Chandbali, Odisha, and Sagar Island, West Bengal, in close proximity to Bangladesh coast around November 10 [Sunday],” predicted weather forecaster Skymet. It said that light rain along coasts of Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha may be expected on Thursday but wind speed and rain would pick up later in the day with moderate to heavy rain in the next few days.

Among the areas that are expected to receive extremely heavy rainfall are Chandbali, Puri, Gopalpur, and Balasore areas of Odisha. In West Bengal, areas such as Diamond Harbour, Digha, and Canning would have the maximum bearing with some experiencing similar conditions. “In fact, areas little away from the coast like Baripada, Midnapore, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar might also see heavy rains,” Skymet said.

In its weather warning for the next five days, the Met department said sea conditions would be “very high to phenomenal” over central and adjoining northwest Bay of Bengal. “Fishermen are advised not to venture into west central and adjoining north Bay of Bengal along and off Odisha-West Bengal coasts,” the bulletin said.

India Meteorological Department Director General Mrutyunjay Mohapatra said the storm was being closely monitored to establish the direction of the storm and its possible location of landfall.

The Odisha government said they were monitoring the storm. “As per the IMD report, there is less possibility of cyclonic storm hitting the Odisha coast,” Special Relief Commissioner Pradeep Jena told India Today. “However, the clear picture will come out after the formation of the cyclonic storm.”

The state government has put 15 of the 30 districts on alert to deal with possible flood situations. “We have put 15 of the state’s 30 districts on alert in view of the possible heavy rain,” said Special Relief Commissioner and Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management PK Jena said, according to News18.

The Odisha government also issued a revised advisory asking the districts to prepare for a possible flood-like situation and waterlogging. Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force and National Disaster Response Force have also been requested to send their teams to districts to assist the administration in dealing with the calamity.

Jena said the Prime Minister’s Office reviewed the situation in the state through video-conference on Thursday.

An official said all schools and anganwadis will remain closed on Friday and Saturday in Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts.

Fisherman have been advised not to venture into the sea from Friday till further notice.

Cyclone Maha

The cyclonic storm Maha weakened into the Arabian Sea without making a landfall in Gujarat.

However, the IMD in a press release said it would bring light to moderate rains in most parts of Gujarat during the next two days.

“Maha is no longer a cyclone,” the Ahmedabad IMD centre’s director Jayanta Sarkar said. “Rain may occur in most districts during the next two days.”

Unseasonal rain occurred in many parts of Gujarat between 6 am and 12 noon on Thursday because of the current weather system.