Cyclone Titli threatens to bring back Hudhud’s wrath

Strong winds and heavy rain pounds Brahmapur in Odisha state

Director of Meteorological (MeT) Centre Bhubaneswar H.R. Biswas said the "very severe cyclonic storm" is being monitored by the coastal Doppler Weather Radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip. While a 62-year-old woman died at Gudivada Agraharam village after an uprooted tree fell on her, a 55-year-old man died in a house collapse at Rotanasa village in Srikakulam district, the SDMA said.

Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said so far there had been no reports of casualties in the state.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) had sounded a red alert for the two states for October 11.

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

It was likely to make landfall between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh early on Thursday at a wind speed of 145 kmph. In addition, the three States have deployed their own rescue teams along with power boats. Wind speed at Gopalpur during the landfall was around 126 kmph. Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve north eastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually. The Odisha government has also issued a storm surge warning, stating that low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh may be inundated during the time of Titli's landfall. The rainfall intensity will decrease from Friday.

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The latest observations indicate that "Titli", over west-central Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 19 kmph during the past six hours.

The officer said that Gajapati district, which was most affected, received more than 200 mm of rainfall while Mohana block in the district received the maximum rainfall of 315 mm.

The state engineering departments have been asked to be ready for restoration work, especially essential services like water supply, road connectivity and electricity supply after the cyclone crosses the Odisha coast.

"We fear that 6,000 to 7,000 electricity poles may have been uprooted", K Dhananjaya Reddy, the district administrative chief of Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters news agency.

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