Cyclone Titli batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

2 killed as Cyclone Titli smashes eastern India

A truck driver comes out from his vehicle to take shelter during rain and strong winds caused by cyclonic storm named Titli, or Butterfly near Gopalpur on the Bay of Bengal coast, Ganjam district, eastern Orissa state, India, Thursday, Oct.11, 2018.

The landfall process has been completed and "the centre of eye of cyclone "Titli" lies over the land", the IMD said.

Schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in the state remained closed for the day.

The chief minister has also asked the authorities to ensure "zero casualty" and keep the cyclone shelters ready for housing the people during disaster. More than 3 lakh people have been evacuated from the region. After landfall, it may recurve and move towards West Bengal and northeast states.

Water Resources secretary Pradip Jena said that since the IMD has predicted extremely heavy rainfall in south Odisha, there is a possibility of flood in Rushikulya and Bansadhara rivers and their tributaries.

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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. The Odisha government has also issued a storm surge warning, stating that low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh may be inundated during the time of Titli's landfall. It is very likely to be phenomenal over the west-central and the adjoining north Bay of Bengal and along and off the south Odisha coast till Thursday, it said.

Several teams of the Odisha Disaster Response Force (ODRF) were deployed in nine districts - Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khordha, Cuttack, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Boudh and Kalahandi, according to the Home Ministry.

Another ground-level report from Berhampur said that there was just a drizzle and winds up to a maximum speed of 70 km/hr and not much damage till 7:30 AM this morning.

The IMD advised total suspension of fishing operations and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safe places.

"The evacuation operation was carried out soon after the warning was issued days before and people are now in relief camps", said Vishnu Pad Sethi, Relief Commissioner (DM), Odisha. "Adequate relief provisions have been made".

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