Cyclone Titli makes landfall

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Several hundreds acres of crop were destroyed across Andhra Pradesh as Cyclone Titli made landfall in neighbouring Odisha on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Home Ministry, the cyclone crossed the north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coast near Palasa in Srikakulam district to the southwest of Gopalpur with estimated maximum sustained surface wind speed of 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph between 430 hours and 0530 hours. A high wind regime will prevail over Odisha and Bengal coasts until Friday morning. Over 3 lakh people have been evacuated and 15 rescue teams have been deployed in the state. G.Udaygiri in Kandhamal district recorded the highest 351 mm rainfall followed by 319 mm of rainfall in Kantapada of Cuttack district. IMD's latest forecast report suggested Titli which has turned into a severe cyclonic storm over west-central Bay of Bengal and is further intensifying into a 'very severe cyclonic storm.

Those evacuated were being kept in special shelters and pregnant women were moved to state-run health centres and hospitals, the commissioner said.

Heavy winds were likely to cause a storm surge and officials said they expected low-lying areas in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to be inundated.

He also directed the departments concerned to take up fix of the damaged roads, restoration of power and drinking water supply and alternative arrangement of power to the water supply centres in the affected districts in the aftermath of the cyclone. SRC Bishnupada Sethi said the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which is in touch with the state government has also alerted Indian Navy and Air force. The college students union elections, earlier scheduled to be held on Thursday, have also been cancelled.

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On speaking about the area which is likely to face a severe wrath of the cyclone, " Srikakulam is under the danger radar since the place is close in proximity with the cyclone movement.

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

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

Trees and electricity poles were uprooted, officials told PTI, with roads and houses also damaged.

Bangladesh's coastal districts were also warned to prepare for possible storm effects there.

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