Cyclone Titli kills nine in AP, Odisha

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Cyclonic storm "Titli" on Thursday wreaked havoc in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh killing eight people.

Reviewing the already afoot evacuation process starting with Ganjam district, Patnaik said all schools, colleges and anganwadi centres would be closed on October 11 and 12.

Gopalpur: Cyclone Titli made its landfall on Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast early this morning, bringing with it heavy rain and winds gusting at 140-150 kmph.

Gopalpur in Odisha reported 102kmph and Kalingapatnam 56kmph surface wind speed at 5:30am, IMD said in a bulletin. Ganjam, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts would remain in radar of the cyclone, and stands fair chances of incessant showers.

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A cyclone packing winds of over 125 kilometres (80 miles) per hour and heavy rains hit eastern India early Thursday, local media reported, with over 300,000 people evacuated from low-lying areas. G.Udaygiri in Kandhamal district recorded the highest 351 mm rainfall followed by 319 mm of rainfall in Kantapada of Cuttack district.

Fishermen have been advised against venturing into the sea in view of adverse weather conditions, he added.

Odisha's Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said so far there had been no reports of casualties in the state.

Titli's effect was also seen in Jharkhand where areas neighbouring Odisha experienced rainfall.

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Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation suspended its bus services as uprooted trees blocked roads at several places.

Coconut plantations, banana and mango trees were the worst hit in the "very severe" cyclonic storm, according to a preliminary report prepared by the SDMA. Thirteen teams, comprising 45 personnel each, of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed in the affected areas. 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.

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.

The IMD warned the cyclone is likely to uproot trees, power and communication poles, destroy coastal houses with thatched roofs, and damage roads, crops and plantations.

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The national disaster agency says 1,700 homes in one neighbourhood alone were swallowed up and hundreds of people killed. Fuel remained another concern, with villagers forced to queue at pumps for more than six hours.

Effect of the landfall of the Very Severe Cyclonic Storm was also largely felt in Bhanjanagar and Aska.

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