With cyclone Titli triggering heavy rainfall, a warning has been issued for north-coastal Andhra Pradesh and parts of Odisha. According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the severe storm is being monitored by coastal Doppler weather radars in the regions of Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur, and Paradip. Eight people were killed due to the cyclonic storm, officials said.
Officials said five deaths were reported from Srikakulam district while three persons were killed in neighbouring Vijayanagaram district. Six fishermen were among the dead. Parts of the two districts received heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone.
Officials have stated that it is very likely that the storm will be moving northwest in the next 12 hours, and then curve northeast towards Gangetic West Bengal and across Odisha. The storm is also expected to weaken gradually, before it becomes a depression by morning on October 12.
According to the Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, Titli crossed between North Andhra and South Odisha coast near Palasa with wind speed of 140-150 km per hour. Local cautionary signal number three was kept hoisted at Kalingapatnam port but the warning was withdrawn from Bheemunipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and other ports. Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the cyclone situation at a meeting with top officials in Vijayawada. He directed officials to launch relief operations and closely monitor the situation.
Officials in Andhra Pradesh are keeping a close tab on the storm reports, and have already begun rescue and relief operations. Uprooted trees fell on the roads, disrupting the vehicular traffic. The state-owned road transport corporation suspended all bus services on the Andhra-Odisha border area. Several trains were cancelled or diverted due to cyclone. According to East Coast Railway, railway stations were damaged at several places. The station at Palasa suffered massive damage. Teams of railway officials were studying the impact of cyclone between Palasa and Brahmpur.
Authorities are expecting to see severe damage in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh. Fishermen have been warned not to go out into the sea and to suspend all fishing operations until further notice. Several of these areas have already seen widespread damage of electric poles and telecommunications due to rampant rains and wind in the region.
Earlier, on Wednesday, the Centre had deployed 21 teams from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal in view of the impending storm. In view of the storm warnings, several trains in the state have been cancelled and some have been diverted.
Srikakulam District Collector Dhanunjaya Reddy is overseeing the rescue operations and coordinating with police and revenue authorities for the same.