Several hundreds acres of crop were destroyed across Andhra Pradesh as Cyclone Titli made landfall in neighbouring Odisha on Thursday. The districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam were all affected and a total of eight people were reported dead across the state.
The cyclone also uprooted several trees, electricity poles and communication towers, disrupting normal life. Srikakulam district bore the brunt of the storm as strong winds uprooted a large number of coconut trees.
According to data with the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA), 3,000 hectares of paddy, 29 hectares of banana crops and 9,000 hectares of vegetable crops were damaged across two mandals in Srikakulam, Jalumuru, Polaki.
In Etcherla mandal, three people died, and 38 acres of paddy and 22 acres of banana plantation were estimated to be damaged by the cyclone.
In Vizianagaram, hundreds of acres of paddy and cashew nut fields were reported to be damaged and officials from the Revenue and Agricultural departments were still ascertaining the loss.
Uprooted trees fell on the roads, disrupting vehicular traffic. The state-owned road transport corporation suspended all bus services on the Andhra-Odisha border area. Trains were also cancelled or diverted.
Speaking to TNM, Vizianagaram Superintendent of Police G Pala Raju said, "As far as this district is concerned, two mandals, Gummalakshmipuram and Parvathipuram, were affected the most. In the other areas, there is not much wind or rain. Several trees and electrical poles fell down late on Thursday morning when the cyclone hit."
"Officials of all the departments of the state government including Revenue, Agriculture, Fisheries, Police, Roads and Buildings and State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) are on board the rescue operation," the SP added.
Special teams comprising officials from the R&B, SDMA, and state electricity board are monitoring the situation along national highways, to ensure quick restoration.
Power supply hit
The APSDMA said that 68 electricity poles were damaged across Srikakulam district.
"In Srikakulam district, Tekkali, Palakonda in Srikakulam Town and Rural areas were affected as poles were damaged and even fell down, leaving the areas without power. At present, we are on the job of restoring operations and we have already restored power supply to Srikakulam town. Electricity in the remaining areas will also be restored soon," Superintendent Engineer Deva Varaprasad from the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) told TNM.
"The rain and wind is also hampering our work. We have formed area-wise teams to speed up the restoration work. As soon as the rain goes down, our teams will speed up the process," he added.
The official also said there were no reports of deaths due to electric shocks in the area.
Visakhapatnam District was relatively less affected while compared to the other two districts.
"Not many cases of damage to electric poles have been reported from Visakhapatnam district as of now," Superintendent Engineer TV Surya Prakash from the Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) told TNM.