“The state will soon get two more doppler radars at Gopalpur and Sambalpur,” said P K Mishra, the additional principal secretary to the prime minister, while inaugurating the facility in this port town here. The idea to set up the facility at Paradip was mooted way back in 2000, immediately after the state was hit by a super-cyclone in 1999, Mishra added.
While the Centre has spent Rs 30 crore for setting up the doppler radar centre here, another Rs 20 crore is required for the facility at Gopalpur, said IMD director general L S Rathore. “Odisha will not have to depend on the Visakhapatanam or any other places for getting weather information at the time of need any more,” Rathore said.
Besides giving accurate information on cyclones, the doppler radar could monitor the situation within 500 km radius from Paradip. It will also help in strengthening coastal security, he stated. “The radar has long been awaited and will definitely be a boon for Odisha keeping in view the wrath of cyclonic storms being borne by the state. The radar will help extensively in weather prediction in a real time manner,” said Sarat Sahu, MeT office director in Bhubaneswar.
He said the radar station at Paradip will help forecast cyclonic storms, excessive rainfall, thunderstorms and hailstorms with greater accuracy. The doppler radar is fitted with highly sensitive instruments and will lead to prior information about low pressure, cyclonic storms, depression, weather disturbances, rain forecast, location, direction and movement and intensity of the cyclonic circulation, the time of its landfall and wind speed.
Earlier, the IMD stations in Odisha used to depend on traditional equipment. “The doppler radar will identify the location of severe lightning about four hours before it strikes. About 400 poor people are killed every year in lightening,” said special relief commissioner P K Mohapatra.