Published: Fri, October 12, 2018

Cyclone 'Titli' intensifies into very severe cyclonic storm, Odisha govt starts evacuation

Cyclone 'Titli' intensifies into very severe cyclonic storm, Odisha govt starts evacuation

Cyclone Titli, which intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over the Bay of Bengal, made landfall on India's eastern coast early Thursday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported.

In Bangladesh, Titli is likely to move Northwestwards and has started crossing the coast, said a special bulletin of the Met office.

Schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in the state remained closed for the day.

They were accommodated in more than 1,100 cyclone shelters.

The cyclone left eight people dead, besides causing widespread damage in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said.

After the landfall, the system is very likely to re-curve gradually northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually.

While several areas in coastal Odisha were lashed by rain on Wednesday, the IMD has forecast "heavy to very heavy rainfall" at several places and "extremely heavy rainfall" at isolated areas till Thursday under the impact of the very severe cyclonic storm.

2 killed as Cyclone Titli smashes eastern India

Gopalpur in Odisha reported 102kmph and Kalingapatnam 56kmph surface wind speed at 5:30am, IMD said in a bulletin.

It also forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall for Kandhamal, Boudh and Dhenkanal district from Thursday. The IMD has also warned people living in low-lying areas to take preventive measures as there is a risk of trees falling due to wind speeds that could reach 100 kmph.

Red alert has been issued for districts of north Andhra Pradesh & south Odisha coasts.

Orissa has deployed 14 NDRF teams in Balasore, Sambhalpur, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Puri, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Jagatsinghpur, Ganjam and Bhubaneswar districts.

Maximum sustained wind speeds within 74 km of the cyclone's centre are about 120 kph-rising to 140 kph in gusts/squalls. The department had advised complete suspension of fishing operations and asked people to stay indoors.

According to Odisha chief secretary A Padhi, the government has managed to adhere to its goal of zero casualties in the face of the natural calamity.

Around 300 boats have been arranged ahead of the storm for assistance in the rescue operation and all 879 cyclone and flood shelters have been kept on standby.

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