New Delhi: At least 3 people died as severe Cyclone Titli hit the southern Odisha coast, triggering heavy rainfall in the coastal districts, early morning on Thursday.
According to State Emergency Operations Centre (SEOC), three people died in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, and no loss of life was reported in Odisha.
The cyclone intensified after midnight on Wednesday and developed into a very severe storm that made a landfall between 4:30 am and 5:30 am on Thursday morning. It crossed the north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coast near Palasa in Srikakulam district to the south-west of Gopalpur around 5:30 am.
“No loss of human life has been reported so far. However, there has been massive damage to thatched houses along the coast. Villages in Gopalpur, Gajapati, Ganjam were most affected and power supply was cut. The evacuation operation was carried out soon after the warning was issued days before and people are currently in relief camps," said Vishnu Pad Sethi, Relief Commissioner (DM), Odisha.
India Meteorological Department (IMD) had sounded a red alert for the two states for October 11. The department had advised complete suspension of fishing operations and asked people to stay indoors.
Five fishermen were rescued from a capsized boat in Gopalpur district. Three boats were stranded near Gopalpur port from which 27 fishermen were rescued by the coast guard, said an official from National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
According to the local administration, the situation is under control, as the wind speed has begun to decrease and the cyclone is dissipating.
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 is very likely to weaken gradually, becoming a cyclonic storm around evening and a deep depression by morning of 12 October and a depression by noon," stated IMD.
Trees were uprooted and road connectivity was hit, as winds up to 140 kmph ravaged the coastal districts. Gopalpur reported surface wind speed of 126 kmph at the time of the landfall, which lasted for over three hours early morning on Thursday.
Heavy rainfall continues to lash the districts, as the weather department warned that Cyclone Titli was very likely to maintain the intensity of a cyclone till Thursday evening with wind speed up to 90 kmph. The rainfall intensity will decrease from Friday.
Sea conditions will remain rough to very rough along and off the West Bengal coast till Friday evening.
“People will continue to remain in the relief camps at least till Friday, and will be shifted as the situation improves. Power is being restored in the coastal districts, however, it will take time to restore power in Gajapati, which is among the worst affected areas," said Sethi.
Low-lying areas of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha were most affected.
This is the second severe cyclone alert for Odisha in the last two months, after ‘Cyclone Daye’ crossed the Odisha coast on September 20 and triggered heavy downpour.