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

Strong winds and heavy rain pounds Brahmapur in Odisha state

Strong winds and heavy rain pounds Brahmapur in Odisha state

It was likely to make landfall between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh early on Thursday at a wind speed of 145 kmph.

Sethi informed that the evacuation operation has already started in low-laying areas of coastal districts and 753 persons have already been shifted to safer places in Ganjam so far.

A severe cyclonic storm packing winds of up to 150 kmph and widespread rains had hit Odisha and Andhra Pradesh Thursday, killing eight people in Andhra Pradesh and one in Odisha.

As it hit the coast, the sustained winds were 165 kilometres per hour, meaning the system would have been classed as a category 2 hurricane if it were rated on the 5-point Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale. G.Udaygiri in Kandhamal district recorded the highest 351 mm rainfall followed by 319 mm of rainfall in Kantapada of Cuttack district.

The sea conditions will be "very rough" (wave heights of eight feet) over West-Central and North Bay of Bengal and along and off south Odisha and adjoining North Andhra Pradesh coasts until Friday morning and gradually improve thereafter.

It has been decided in the meeting chaired by the chief secretary that all schools, colleges and Anganwadi centres in the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur will remain closed on October 10 and October 11. "However, there is no flood-like situation as of now", said Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi.

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Power supply and telephone links got disrupted and road communication snapped due to uprooted trees at many places of Gajapati district, the SRC said.

A total of 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and nine Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed at strategic locations.

According to officials who are monitoring the cyclone from the coastal Doppler weather radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip, the cyclone is very likely to move north-westwards during the next 12 hours and then re-curve north-eastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha.

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 India Meteorology Department (IMD) said extensive damage to kutcha houses and damage to trees, electric poles, pucca roads is expected in these districts. In view of the very severe cyclonic storm, IndiGo Airline has cancelled five flights to and from Bhubaneswar.

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