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Cyclone Titli hits Odisha, trees uprooted, flights and trains hit

The process of landfall of the very severe cyclone Titli started early Thursday with surface wind reaching speeds of 126 kmph at Gopalpur in Odisha’’s Ganjam district, the India Meteorological Department said.

IMAGE: People flee as Cyclone Titli makes a landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha. Photograph: ANI/Twitter

“The process of landfall has started and it will completely cross the Odisha coast in one or two hours. The system will pass close to Gopalpur,” said H R Biswas, Director of Metereological Centre, Bhubaneswar.

The IMD said, “The forward sector of the eye of the storm has been entering into the land mass.”

While Gopalpur in Odisha reported surface winds at 126 kmph, Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh recorded wind speed of 56 kmph.

As the landfall process started, at least five districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur are receiving good amount of rainfall coupled with high speed winds under the impact of Titli.

WATCH: Titli making a landfall in Srikakulam’s Vajrapu Kotturu

Biswas said the very severe cyclonic storm, Titli, is being monitored by the coastal Doppler Weather Radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip.

The latest observations indicate that Titli, over west-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 19 kmph during the past six hours.

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

Reports of trees, electric poles getting uprooted and damages to kuchha houses were reported, officials said, adding that road communication in some places, including Gopalpur and Berhampur, was snapped.

IMAGE: A view of deserted Gopalpur beach, in Ganjam. Photograph: PTI Photo

Meanwhile, the Odisha government has geared up its machinery to tackle the situation. The state government has already evacuated over 3 lakh people living in low lying areas and kuchha houses ahead of the landfall in five coastal districts.

“We have already evacuated three lakh people and more may be shifted to safer places in view of the very severe cyclone,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after reviewing the situation twice on Wednesday.

Of the 15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force, 13 have been deployed along with the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force at vulnerable places.

Apart from making all arrangement for rescue and relief operations, the chief minister also ordered closure of all schools, colleges and anganwadi centres on Thursday and Friday in view of the IMD’s forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall across the state.

Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi said the state government was prepared to face possible floods in view of the heavy rainfall across the state.

Sethi said the state government has already informed the Air Force and Navy about the situation and may take their help, if required.

Around 300 motor boats have been arranged to assist in rescue operation as there is a likelihood of flood situation due to possibility of heavy rains till October 11.

All the 836 cyclone and flood shelters have been kept prepared and adequate relief materials arranged, the SRC added.

Source: Rediff