"We have asked the collectors of 16 districts to remain alert to the possible cyclone and told collectors of 14 other districts to remain vigilant to the emerging situation," said Deputy Special Relief Commissioner Pravat Ranjan Momahaptra.

The district authorities were also asked to ensure that all government employees remain present at their places of posting.

"The collectors have been told to cancel the leave of all the employees," Mohapatra said, adding Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service personnel have been told to be ready for any eventuality.

The districts which have been alerted are Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda, Nayagarh, Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Koraput and Malkangiri.

Apart from Koraput and Malkangiri, 14 other districts were last year hit by cyclone Phailin, Mohapatra said.

A bulletin issued by the IMD said, "Yesterday's low pressure area over Tenasserim Coast and adjoining Andaman Sea has concentrated into a depression and lay centred at 0830 hours over North Andaman Sea and neighbourhood near latitude 11.50 degree N and longitude 95.00 degree E about 1380 Km southeast of Gopalpur."

"It would move in a west-northwesterly direction and intensify into a deep depression within 24 hours and further intensify into a cyclonic storm thereafter," the bulletin said.

The MET office also forecast rain or thundershower at one or two places over Odisha during the next 24 hours.

"As the system is more than 1300 km from the state coast, we have not issued any warning for fishermen. However, authorities of Paradip and Gopalpur ports are advised to hoist distant cautionary signal number one," said IMD, Bhubaneswar, director S C Sahoo.