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Cyclone “Titli”: Coastal areas of Odisha, northern Andhra Pradesh to be affected

‘Titli’, which has been categorised as a “very severe cyclonic storm”, hit the coast with a speed of 140 to 150 kmph, the Met department said. The cyclone is moving towards West Bengal and is expected to weaken gradually with decreasing wind speed. With cyclone namely, ‘Titli’ triggering heavy rainfall, a warning has been issued for north-coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha. The severe storm is being monitored by coastal Doppler weather radars in the regions of Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur, and Paradip, says the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

The storm is also expected to weaken gradually, before it becomes a depression by morning on October 12. Notably, Officials in Andhra Pradesh are keeping a close tab on the storm reports, and have already begun rescue and relief operations. Two people have reportedly died as a result of the storms in Srikakulam’s Sarubujjili mandal. One man allegedly died after his house collapsed in the rains while another woman died after a tree fell on her.

Authorities are expecting to see severe damage in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Fishermen have been warned not to go out into the sea and to suspend all fishing operations until further notice. Several of these areas have already seen widespread damage of electric poles and telecommunications due to rampant rains and wind in the region.

Cyclone Titli hit coastal Odisha bringing with it strong winds and heavy rain in the region. “Titli”, which means butterfly in Hindi, made a landfall in the beach town of Gopalpur between 4:30 and 5:30 this morning. Trees and electric poles were uprooted in several parts. Over three lakh people in Odisha’s five coastal districts have been moved to safety.

“There has been no major damage or report of casualty received from any part of the state so far. Some destruction was reported from Ganjam and Gajapati districts,” Special Relief Commissioner BP Sethi said. Power supply and telephone links got disrupted and road lines were snapped due to uprooted trees at many places of Gajapati district, Mr Sethi said. There are also reports of damages to mud houses.

As the landfall process started, at least five districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur are receiving heavy rainfall coupled with high speed winds. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation yesterday, asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to go for an immediate evacuation of people in low-lying areas in the coastal belt.

The Odisha government said it is prepared to face possible floods due to heavy rain.The people who have been moved out of their homes have been accommodated in shelters. Pregnant women have been shifted to hospitals. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force have already been positioned in vulnerable districts. “We have not yet sought help of Army. If required we may go for it,” an official said. Another official said the Air Force and the Navy have been alerted about the situation. (With inputs from PTI).

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