New Delhi: A very severe cyclone storm is likely to hit Odisha, as India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for coastal districts in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

In its latest weather forecast issued on Wednesday afternoon, IMD has warned that the cyclonic storm over west-central Bay of Bengal is moving north-westwards and is very likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm during next 12 hours.

According to officials who are monitoring the cyclone from the coastal Doppler weather radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip, Cyclone Titli currently lies centred over the west-central Bay, about 280 km south-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 230 km southeast of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).

“It is very likely to move north-westwards and cross the Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam around Thursday morning, after which it will re-curve and move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually," the IMD said.

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 downpours.

The weather department has issued a red alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall for Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh for the next two days. While the total suspension of fishing operations has been advised till October 11, IMD has also asked the local administration to mobilize evacuation from coastal areas.

A Storm Surge warning has also been sounded, and low-lying areas of Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha are likely to be inundated at the time of landfall of the cyclone.

Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh, Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha are among the vulnerable districts which could be most-affected.

The weather officials have asked the local administration to brace up as there could be total destruction of thatched houses and likely damage to pucca houses. There could be potential threat from uprooting of electric poles, as squally winds of 60-70 kmph could gust upto 80 kmph after midnight. Widespread damage to standing crops is also expected.

After the landfall in next 12 hours, Cyclone Titli is very likely to maintain the intensity of cyclone till Thursday evening and weaken thereafter. However, the IMD has asked people to stay prepared as wind thrusting upto 60-90 kmph is very likely to prevail over the interior districts of south coastal Odisha from October 11th noon to night.

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