2 killed as Cyclone Titli smashes eastern India

As cyclone "Titli" entered the land mass, some districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati and Puri, are receiving good amount of rainfall coupled with high speed wind.

Eight districts in Odisha - Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore - were affected by the cyclone.

The cyclone also uprooted several trees, electricity poles and communication towers, disrupting normal life.

Cyclone Titli, or Butterfly, had winds blowing up to 150 kph (95 mph) Thursday when it came onshore around daybreak, the India Meteorological Department said.

The cyclone wreaked havoc in Ganjam and Gajapati districts of Odisha, but the evacuation of about 3 lakh people ensured there were no fatalities.

The very severe cyclonic storm Titli over west central Bay of Bengal moved north-westwards and crossed north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coasts near Palasa in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday between 4:30 AM and 5:30 AM, according to the Cyclone Warning Centre (CWC) here.

Horticulture crops suffered extensive damage in Srikakulam district while paddy suffered damage in Vizianagaram.


HR Biswas, the director of Bhubaneswar based Metereological Centre, said, "The process of landfall has started and it will completely cross the Odisha coast in one or two hours".

Taking the situation into account the state government has canceled leaves for all government employees and has asked all officials who are on leave to join duty immediately, the chief secretary informed.

"Following its landfall, the severe cyclonic storm is very likely to re-curve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually", the Met department said.

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

"Long distance trains slated to pass through East Coast Railway jurisdiction between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram on Howrah-Chennai main line may be diverted via Kharagpur-Jharsuguda-Nagpur-Balharshah-Vijayawada route", he said.

The official also said there were no reports of deaths due to electric shocks in the area.

All fishing boats and trawlers over North Bay and the deep sea have been advised to remain sheltered till further notice.


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