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Cyclone Titli updates: Toll rises to 8 in Odisha, Andhra, 300,000 evacuated

Cyclone Titli updates: Toll rises to 8 in Odisha, Andhra, 300,000 evacuated

By afternoon, the storm which was travelling north-west, had weakened into a "severe" storm, said Mrutyunjay Mahapatra, Head of Tropical Cyclones Division of the Indian Metereological Department.

It spread rain widely in coastal districts of Orissa state and also hit northern parts of neighboring Andhra Pradesh state.

As cyclone "Titli" entered the land mass, some districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati and Puri, are receiving good amount of rainfall coupled with high speed wind.

Titli made landfall between the Odisha and Andhra Pradesh coast early Thursday morning, disrupting road and telecommunications networks and power supply in most parts of Ganjam and Gajapati districts.

Keeping in view the intensity of the storm, chief minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed state government's preparedness for the calamity at Secretariat this noon and asked all officers concerned to expedite evacuation of people in low-lying areas of vulnerable districts to cyclone shelters and nearby safer places with a focus on zero casualty.

Several districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Kandhamal, Boudh and Dhenkanal were expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall till Thursday. Vizag city is likely to face more than 100km/hr wind speed and heavy rainfall. Wind speed at Gopalpur during the landfall was around 126 kmph.

The districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam were all affected and a total of eight people were reported dead across the state. The CWC has asked the ports to lower the danger signals.

The weatherman warned fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off the coasts of West Bengal, Odisha, deep sea areas of North Bay and Central Bay of Bengal till 12 October.

In a video conference with Union Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha, Chief Secretary A P Padhi informed that the state has taken precautions to deal with the situation. This meeting was attended by State chief secretary, development commissioner, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), heads of various departments and director of the meteorology department.

Around 300 motor boats have been arranged to assist in rescue operation as there is a likelihood of flood situation due to possibility of heavy rains till October 11.