Friday, 16 November, 2018

Cyclone Titli: Eastern India battered by deadly storm

Strong winds and heavy rain pounds Brahmapur in Odisha state Strong winds and heavy rain pounds Brahmapur in Odisha state
Ellis Copeland | 12 October, 2018, 12:49

Cyclonic storm "Titli" on Thursday wreaked havoc in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh killing eight people.

Officials in Odisha evacuated over 300,000 people, suspended operations at the port of Paradip and cancelled many trains and flights on Wednesday.

Cyclone Titli, a very severe cyclonic storm, hit the Andhra Pradesh coast near Palasa in the southern state's Srikakulam district early on Thursday as it uprooted trees, twisted electric poles and dumped heavy rains in the area, weather officials said. 30 to 5. 30 am on October 11.

Affected districts are Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapada, Bhadrak and Balasore districts. So far, over 3 lakh people have been evacuated and shifted to shelter homes. "Keeping in mind heavy to very heavy rainfall forecast, we have made a decision to declare holidays for schools and educational institutions in four districts from tomorrow", said Padhi.

The Centre rushed almost 1,000 NDRF personnel to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal as Cyclone Titli made its way towards the coast, besides issuing directions for storage of food, fuel and maintaining power supply and telecommunication lines. Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who attended the meeting, in his address to media said units of NDRF, ODRAF and fire services personnel have been deployed in vulnerable districts. Thereafter, it is likely to re-curve northeastward, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually, said director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, H.R. Biswas. It is expected to cross Odisha by evening today due to which heavy rainfall is likely in coastal and interior parts of the State including Mayurbhanj district.

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It was also very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 18 hours till early Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said.

The member-secretary of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) had a conversation with the state government on Wednesday, informing that the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force team are kept ready to take up relief and rescue operations, he added.

"We have been moving people to safe places at Chikiti, Dharakote, Patrapur and Sanakhemundi blocks of Ganjam district as river Rushikulya is in spate".

Power supply and telephone lines were snapped in Ganjam, where wind gusted at 165 kmph uprooting trees, levelling houses disrupting road communication.

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