Schools Closed, Lakhs Evacuated ; Odisha Put On High Alert Due To Cyclone Titli

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New Delhi: Odisha closed schools and other educational institutions across the state, evacuated lakhs of people and put armed forces on alert as cyclone Titli, now intensified into a ‘very severe cyclonic’ storm, expected to hit its coast anytime soon.

As the cyclone moved across the Bay of Bengal towards the Indian coastline where it is likely to make landfall between Odisha’sGopalpur and Andhra Pradesh’s Kalingapatanam around 5.30 am at a wind speed gusting up to 165 kilometres per hour, there was heavy rainfall in many parts of Odisha under its influence.

“Titli moved with a speed of about 15 kmph and intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centred over the west-central Bay of Bengal, around 200 km south by southwest of Gopalpur,” the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin on Wednesday evening.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre of the US navy also said the cyclone continued to rapidly consolidate and indications of a nascent eye beginning to form.

According to the IMD, Cyclone Titli intensified further into a very severe cyclonic storm during at 11.30 am on Wednesday and may lead to waves rising up to 1 metre on the coast. Under its impact, heavy rains had already started in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Balasore and Kendrapara districts.

“With a sustained windspeed of 140 km per hour, Titli would hit the coast around 5.30 am on October 11 and then rage on for next 5-6 hours with a similar force. It would however gradually weaken and re-curve northeastwards and move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha by Thursday afternoon,” said HR Biswas, Director of Bhubaneswar MeterologicalOfiice

The regional meteorological department in Kolkata also warned of intense spells of thundershower accompanied by gusty wind in six south Bengal districts for the next four days, triggered by Titli even as brief rain played spoilsport amid heightened Durga Puja preparations across the state, said.

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