Cyclone Titli: Odisha evacuates 3 lakh from coastal areas

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A severe cyclone damaged homes and blew down trees and power poles in eastern India, where nine people were killed and about 300,000 forced to move to higher ground.

Tropical cyclone "Titli," with gusts of up to 165 kph (100 mph), made landfall in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours of Thursday, the India Meteorological Department said. Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts would remain in radar of the cyclone, and stands fair chances of incessant showers.

Around 300,000 people were evacuated and 879 multi-purpose cyclone and flood shelters were kept in readiness for sheltering the rescued people.

Odisha's Balasore received very heavy rainfall of 117 mm and Paradip recorded 111 mm of rains.

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.

Similarly, road and electricity restoration work were also in full swing in the Gajapati and Rayagada districts.

Of the 15 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), 13 have been deployed along with the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) at vulnerable places.

India Meteorological Department (IMD) had sounded a red alert for the two states for October 11. So far, about 1,000 people have been shifted to safer place, he said.

Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi announced that all schools, colleges and anganwadis would remain closed on Thursday and Friday.

According to Skymet Weather, Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Titli would continue to sustain a strength of cyclonic storm till Thursday evening, though it would waken gradually in ranks.

He informed that the government will take a decision for closure of educational institutions in other parts of the state after monitoring the situation on Wednesday.

"Since damage to thatched huts is expected in the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Khordha, Nayagarh and Puri, people living in kuccha houses who are likely to be affected by the cyclone shall also be evacuated", Sethi said.

Uddanam region in Srikakulam district, equally known for its coconuts as for its people suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), was the worst affected. Similarly, the water level of Bada River near Gallery, Nuagaon, Madhababarida, Bhanjanagar and Aska has also crossed danger mark and Bahuda River in Kabisuryanagar is flowing above its danger level, reports said.