- Likely to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm in 18 hours
- The Met department has warned of "heavy to very heavy rainfall"
- Odisha government sets up target to ensure zero-casualties
Schools and colleges are closed in four districts in Odisha which is on high alert as Cyclone Titli heads towards the coast. 'Titli' intensified into a severe cyclonic storm, triggering rainfall in several parts of Odisha, the weather office said. ; it is expected to make landfall between Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts tomorrow morning.
It is very likely to intensify further into a very severe cyclonic storm during the next 18 hours. The Met department has warned of "heavy to very heavy rainfall" at several places and "extremely heavy rainfall" at isolated areas till tomorrow under the impact of the severe cyclonic storm.
Cyclone Titli is currently centred about 370 km southeast of Gopalpur and will cross Odisha and the adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coast between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam.
In a meeting chaired by the Chief Secretary, it was decided that schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur will remain closed today and tomorrow. A decision on closing educational institutions in other parts of the state will be taken after monitoring the situation of the cyclone in Odisha.
The Odisha government has set up a target to ensure zero-casualties during the cyclone. It has alerted all district authorities to prepare for emergency relief work and those living in low-lying areas have been asked to evacuate. Fishermen have been told not to go out to the sea as winds up to 125 kmph are likely to accompany Cyclone Titli. "Zero casualty is part of the state government's disaster management policy. Stocking of food and shifting of people to cyclone shelters are also included in the policy," Chief Secretary AP Padhi said.
Deputy special relief commissioner PK Mohapatra said the state has deployed 300 motor boats, National Disaster Response Force, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force teams and fire personnel to assist in the rescue operation.
(With inputs from agencies)