2 dead as cyclone Titli lashes AP-Odisha coast; lakhs without electricity

The ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ left two persons dead besides causing widespread damage in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said.
Scores of trees and power poles were uprooted as heavy rains lashed Srikakulam district under the influence of the storm, the SDMA said.
“We fear 6,000-7,000 electricity poles may have been uprooted. Around 4,00,000 to 5,00,000 people are now without electricity,” K Dhananjaya Reddy, district administrative chief of Srikakulam in Andhra Pradesh said.
Rainfall ranging from 2 cm to 26 cm was recorded in several mandals of the district even as road communication network was vastly affected. The State Road Transport Corporation suspended its bus services as uprooted trees caused roadblocks at several places.
NDRF and SDRF teams have been deployed in Srikakulam and neighbouring Vizianagaram districts to take up rescue and relief operations.
The SDMA has set up a toll-free telephone no. 18004250101 at its Emergency Operations Centre to assist people in distress, while control rooms have been opened in the three north coastal districts.
‘Titli’ which made landfall between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast early Thursday morning, disrupted road and telecommunications networks and power supply in most parts of Ganjam and Gajapati districts.
The maximum brunt was borne by Gajapati district, with uprooted trees hampering movement of vehicles.
Cyclone Titli crossed North Andhra Pradesh, near Palasa in Srikakulam district to the southwest of Gopalpur with an estimated maximum sustained surface wind speed of 140-150 kmph gusting to 165 kmph.
The process of landfall of cyclone Titli started early Thursday around 4.30 am.
As cyclone Titli led to a downpour in eight districts, Odisha is facing a possible flood situation in its coastal belt, an official said.
The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places, and extremely heavy rainfall at isolated places, in Odisha in the next 24 hours.
Around three lakh people have been evacuated so far in the coastal state and 1,112 relief camps set up for the evacuees. As many as 105 pregnant women in Ganjam and 18 in Jagatsinghpur were shifted to hospitals.
However, cyclone Titli will weaken gradually and is expected to turn into a “deep depression” by Friday morning, IMD said.
(With agency inputs)

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