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Orissa relaxes as cyclone moves to Bangladesh


Bhubaneswar : More than 200,000 people began returning home Friday after a severe cyclonic storm spared Orissa and moved to the Bangladesh coast.

The state had evacuated more than 200,000 from villages in the coastal Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore. The process had started Thursday afternoon and continued till midnight.

“However, we are now relaxed because the threat is no more,” a senior official of the state revenue department said, adding that those who had to take refuge in cyclone shelters were going back home.

Cyclone Sidr had weakened rapidly into a cyclonic storm, said I. Panda of the Bhubaneswar meteorological office.

“It is centred over Bangladesh and adjoining Tripura, about 70 km southwest of Agartala. The system is likely to move in a north-north easterly direction and weaken further,” Panda told IANS.

Though the Orissa government has lowered the storm-warning signal in all ports, the alert for fishermen continues. Rains or thundershowers are likely to occur at isolated places over north Orissa.

“On Thursday evening, we saw six feet high tidal waves in Bay of Bengal for some time. We immediately moved to the nearest cyclone shelter,” Tapan Mandal from Huguli village in Balasore district said.