Bhubaneswar: Cyclone Titli uprooted trees and electric poles and damaged hutments in Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati districts after making landfall early on Thursday morning, but no loss of lives was reported from any part of the state. It has been categorised as a “very severe cyclonic storm” and prompted evacuation of people from five coastal districts in Odisha.
The cyclone also triggered heavy rainfall in at least three districts and caused minor damage to power and communication.
“There has been no major damage or report of casualty received from any part of the state so far. Some destruction was reported from Ganjam and Gajapati districts,” special relief commissioner (SRC) B.P. Sethi said.
Power supply and telephone links were disrupted and road communication snapped due to uprooted trees at many places of Gajapati district.
Eight districts in Odisha – Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore – were affected by the cyclone.
Apart from damage to dwellings, there were also reports of road communication being cut off at several headquarters due to fallen trees.
The latest India Meteorological Department (IMD) report said cyclone Titli made the landfall between 4.30 and 5.30 am in south-west coast of Gopalpur near Palasa in Andhra Pradesh with an estimated maximum sustained surface wind speed of 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph.
The landfall process has been completed and “the centre of eye of cyclone ‘Titli’ lies over the land,” the IMD said.
The system is now moving northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and it will weaken gradually, it said.
An hour after the landfall, Gopalpur in Odisha reported surface wind at 126 kmph, Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh recorded wind speed of 56 kmph.
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.
Director of Meteorological (MeT) Centre Bhubaneswar H.R. Biswas said the “very severe cyclonic storm” is being monitored by the coastal Doppler Weather Radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip.
As part of its pre-cyclone preparedness, the Odisha government has evacuated over 3 lakh people living in low-lying areas of the five coastal districts ahead of the landfall.
They were accommodated in 1,112 cyclone shelters.
13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams, along with the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed at several places along with fire brigade.
Schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in the state remained closed for the day.
(With PTI inputs)