Cyclone Titli kills five in eastern India, leaves thousands without power

Trees were uprooted and road connectivity was hit as winds up to 140 kmph ravaged the coastal districts

Trees were uprooted and road connectivity was hit as winds up to 140 kmph ravaged the coastal districts

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.

The Odisha state government has evacuated more than 300,000 people from coastal districts.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) rated Titli as a "very severe cyclonic storm" that could pack gusts of up to 165 kph by the time it makes landfall early on Thursday.

Following table would showcase the rainfall figures recorded across Odisha during the last 24 hours from 8:30 am. Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore are expected to receive very heavy rainfall on Wednesday and Thursday, the IMD said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation, asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to go for an immediate evacuation of people in the low-laying areas in the coastal belt.

The Centre rushed almost 1,000 NDRF personnel to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal as Cyclone Titli made its way towards the coast, besides issuing directions for storage of food, fuel and maintaining power supply and telecommunication lines.

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A total of 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and nine Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed at strategic locations.

He also directed the departments concerned to take up fix of the damaged roads, restoration of power and drinking water supply and alternative arrangement of power to the water supply centres in the affected districts in the aftermath of the cyclone.

Titli would start changing its track during the afternoon hours, which would then track northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha.

It has been decided in the meeting chaired by the chief secretary that all schools, colleges and Anganwadi centres in the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur will remain closed on October 10 and October 11. Rain will continue in places around Ranchi till tomorrow, said BK Mandal, Director, IMD, Ranchi.

Stressing on the government's "zero casualty" disaster management policy, Patnaik said, "The state government has been closely monitoring the situation". 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.

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