Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

Cyclone batters eastern India, 300,000 evacuated

Cyclone Titli, or Butterfly, had winds blowing up to 150 kph (95 mph) Thursday when it came onshore around daybreak, the India Meteorological Department said.

Thereafter, it is likely to re-curve northeastward, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually, said Director of the Meteorological Centre in Bhubaneswar, H R Biswas.

Because of damages caused by the cyclone near Palasa, East Coast Railway has not yet resumed train services between Khurda Road in Odisha and Vizainagaram in Andhra Pradesh, which had been stalled from 10PM on Wednesday.

The very severe cyclonic storm Titli carrying 165 kmph winds and heavy rain slammed into the Srikakulam coast before dawn on Thursday, leaving seven persons dead and a swathe of destruction in its wake in the district and in Vizianagaram.

Titli' is moving north westward over coastal Odisha causing heavy to very heavy rainfall in parts different parts of the State.

Titli made landfall between the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast early Thursday morning, disrupting road and telecommunications networks and power supply in most parts of Ganjam and Gajapati districts.

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Cyclone Titli is expected to make landfall at the Odisha coast at around 5:30 am tomorrow. 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 IMD has said the region will experience very heavy rain, which could lead to flooding, and strong winds.

Some districts of Odisha have experienced rainfall over 100mm.

An 8-year-old boy drowned in a flooded canal in Ganjam district in Orissa state, where five people were also reported missing after being swept away by flood waters, the Press Trust of India reported.

In a video conference with Union Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Chief Secretary A P Padhi informed that the state has taken precautions to deal with the situation.

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

Around 300,000 people were evacuated and 879 multi-purpose cyclone and flood shelters were kept in readiness for sheltering the rescued people. He ordered for provision of adequate relief materials to the affected and needy.

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