Cyclone Titli hits Odisha coast, trees uprooted; flights, trains affected

11 Oct 2018, 08:53

NTV Online

Cyclone Titli has made landfall in Odisha near Gopalpur, the weather department said today. The process of landfall of the very severe cyclone started early Thursday with surface wind reaching speeds of 126 km/hour at Gopalpur in Odisha’s Ganjam district.

The state government evacuated more than 300,000 people from five coastal districts on Wednesday while local schools, colleges and childcare centres were closed.

Reports of trees, electric poles getting uprooted and damages to kuchha houses have started coming, officials said, adding that road communication in some places, including Gopalpur and Berhampur, was snapped, reports

As the landfall process started, at least five districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur are receiving heavy rainfall coupled with high speed winds.

People in coastal areas of Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh are preparing to face the full onslaught of Cyclone Titli.

‘Titli’, which means butterfly in Hindi, has been categorised as a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation, asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to go for an immediate evacuation of people in low-lying areas in the coastal belt.

The Odisha government said it is prepared to face possible floods due to heavy rain. Low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts are likely to be inundated because of storm surge of height of about 1 metre above astronomical tide, according to the Met department.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force have already been positioned in vulnerable districts. ‘We have not yet sought help of Army. If required we may go for it,’ an official said. Another official said the Air Force and the Navy have been alerted about the situation.

All the fishing boats and trawlers over the North Bay and deep sea have been advised to remain in shelter till further notice.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) suspended the operation of all types of water vessels across the country due to the formation of cyclonic storm, reports the UNB.

BIWTA public relations officer Mobarak Hossain said plying of launches, ferries and speedboats will remain suspended on all the waterways throughout the country until further notice.

According to UNB’s Chattogram correspondent, loading and unloading of goods from ships remain suspended at the outer anchorage of the Chittagong seaport since Wednesday morning as cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over the  West-Central Bay and adjoining area.

However, the activities at jetty container remained normal.

Deputy Commissioner of Bagerhat Tapan Kumar Biswas said all the upazila nirbahi officers (UNOs) have been kept alert, while control rooms opened in all the upazilas.

According to a report received from UNB’s Khulna correspondent, a meeting of the district disaster management committee was held at the DC’s conference room at noon.

The meeting was informed that 242 shelter centers and medical teams have kept ready to face the possible disaster.

Besides, Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) cancelled all the leaves of its officials and employees in different parts of the country.

At an official order signed by BWDB deputy secretary (administration) Obaidul Islam directed all the officials and employees to remain present at their workplaces on holidays, too.