Cyclone Titli: Eastern India battered by deadly storm

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Although no casualty from Odisha has been reported due to "very severe cyclone Titli" till 2 p.m. on Thursday, news about damages caused by the cyclone is trickling in from south Odisha districts like Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada. In 1999, a devastating cyclone killed more than 15,000 people.

The weather system was expected to curve to the northeast and weaken gradually, India's weather bureau said.

It spread rain widely in coastal districts of Orissa state and also hit northern parts of neighboring Andhra Pradesh state.

Storm surge of height of about 1 metre above astronomical tide is very likely to inundate the low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts, it said.

Titli Cyclone wreaks havoc in Gopalpur and Berhampur of Ganjam district ahead of its landfall; many trees and utility poles have been uprooted.

The cyclonic storm Titli made landfall near Palasa in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district early on Thursday, bringing with it strong winds that uprooted trees and heavy rainfall.

"The process of landfall has started and it will completely cross the Odisha coast in one or two hours".

In all, eight districts - Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore - have been affected by "very severe cyclone Titli", he said.

Officials in Odisha evacuated more than 300,000 people, suspended operations at the port of Paradip and cancelled many trains and flights on Wednesday.

The three north coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam experienced heavy rains and high-speed gales. The department had advised complete suspension of fishing operations and asked people to stay indoors.

Sea conditions will remain rough to very rough along and off the West Bengal coast till Friday evening. The CWC has asked the ports to lower the danger signals.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and administrative measures to face aftermath of Titli, at State secretariat in Bhubaneswar on Thursday. Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, who attended the meeting, in his address to media said units of NDRF, ODRAF and fire services personnel have been deployed in vulnerable districts. All the 879 cyclone and flood shelters have also been kept in a state of preparedness. He ordered for provision of adequate relief materials to the affected and needy.

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