Cyclone Titli is headed towards the coasts in southern Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh.
Bhubaneswar: People in coastal areas of Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh are preparing to face the full onslaught of Cyclone Titli that will hit the coastlines in a few hours. 'Titli', which means butterfly in Hindi, has been categorised as a "very severe cyclonic storm" and will likely hit the Odisha coast within a few hours, the weather office has said. People in five coastal districts in Odisha are being moved to safety after the storm intensified. The storm is inching closer to the coast in southern Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh. All schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in four districts of Odisha are closed today.
Here are the top 10 updates on Cyclone Titli:
The district administration of Ganjam has already started evacuating people in beach town of Gopalpur, 'Titli' was likely to make a landfall at around 5:30 am, Odisha Chief Secretary AP Padhi said.
- Cyclone Titli is expected to make a landfall between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh. It is about 280 km away from the coastal town of Gopalpur in Odisha and 270 km away from Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
- 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 low-lying areas in the coastal belt.
- The Odisha government said it is prepared to face possible floods due to heavy rain. Low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts are likely to be inundated because of storm surge of height of about 1 metre above astronomical tide, according to the Met department.
- The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force have already been positioned in vulnerable districts. "We have not yet sought help of Army. If required we may go for it," Mr Padhi said. Another official said the Air Force and the Navy have been alerted about the situation and may take their help if required.
- Heavy rain is being reported in several parts of Odisha after Cyclone Titli intensified. Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coasts could see rain with high-speed wind.
- After making a landfall, 'Titli' is likely to turn towards West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually.
- Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore could receive heavy to very heavy rainfall, the weather office said.
- Around 300 motor boats are on stand-by in Odisha for rescue efforts if there is flooding. All the 836 cyclone and flood shelters have also been kept ready, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said.
- Fishermen in Odisha coast have been advised not to venture into sea till Friday.