Cy­clone Titli kills 8 in Andhra, Odisha; 3,00,000 evac­u­ated

Financial Chronicle - - PLAN, POLICY - FC BUREAU

CY­CLONE ‘Titli’ made land­fall on the east­ern coast of the coun­try early on Thurs­day claim­ing eight lives and wreck­ing havoc in Srikaku­lam and Viziana­garam dis­tricts of Andhra Pradesh, while caus­ing wide­spread dam­age in neigh­bour­ing Odisha.

While no loss of lives were re­ported in Odisha, the very se­vere cy­clonic storm left a trail of de­struc­tion in Ga­jap­ati and Gan­jam dis­tricts of state, up­root­ing trees, elec­tric poles and dam­ag­ing hut­ments.

Ac­cord­ing to the In­dia Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Depart­ment (IMD), Cy­clone Titli made its land­fall near Palasa in Srikaku­lam dis­trict, south west of Gopalpur in Odisha with an es­ti­mated max­i­mum sus­tained sur­face wind speed of 140-150 kilo­me­ter per hour (kmph) gust­ing to 165 kmph be­tween 4:30 am and 5:30 am.

The Andhra Pradesh state dis­as­ter man­age­ment author­ity (SDMA) said the cy­clone caused wide­spread dam­age in Srikaku­lam and Viziana­garam, and threw nor­mal life out of gear as heavy to very heavy rains lashed the two north coastal dis­tricts dis­tricts since late Wed­nes­day night.

While a 62-year-old woman died at Gu­di­vada Agra­haram vil­lage af­ter a tree fell on her, a 55-yearold man died in a house col­lapse at Rotanasa vil­lage in Srikaku­lam dis­trict, the SDMA said. The Andhra Pradesh chief min­is­ter’s of­fice (CMO) said the six oth­ers killed were fish­er­men who had ven­tured into the sea.

Of the 67 fish­ing boats that had gone into the sea over the last few days from Kak­i­nada in East Go­davari dis­trict, 65 had re­turned to the shore safely, the CMO said, adding ef­forts were on to bring back the re­main­ing two boats.

The road net­work in Srikaku­lam dis­trict suf­fered ex­ten­sive dam­age, while the power dis­tri­bu­tion net­work was also se­verely af­fected. More than 2,000 elec­tric poles were up­rooted by strong winds.

The East­ern Power Dis­tri­bu­tion Com­pany, that caters to the elec­tric­ity needs of the north coastal dis­tricts of Andhra Pradesh, re­ported that the dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem for 4,319 vil­lages and six towns in Srikaku­lam dis­trict was af­fected.

In Odisha, Cy­clone Titli led to very heavy rain­fall in Gan­jam, Ga­jap­ati and Puri dis­tricts and caused mi­nor dam­age to power sup­ply and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. In all, eight dis­tricts — Gan­jam, Ga­jap­ati, Khurda, Puri, Ja­gats­ingh­pur, Ken­dra­para, Bhadrak and Bala­sore -have been af­fected by the cy­clonic storm, Spe­cial Re­lief Com­mis­sioner BP Sethi said. “There has been no ma­jor de­struc­tion or re­port of ca­su­alty from any part of the state so far. Some dam­ages like up­root­ing of trees and elec­tric poles and dam­age to hut­ments were re­ported from Gan­jam and Ga­jap­ati dis­tricts,” he said.

Power sup­ply and tele­phone links got dis­rupted, and road com­mu­ni­ca­tion snapped due to up­rooted trees at many places in Ga­jap­ati dis­trict, Sethi said, adding ef­forts are now on to clear the blocked roads and to re­store power sup­ply in af­fected ar­eas.

Odisha chief min­is­ter Naveen Pat­naik re­viewed the sit­u­a­tion in the state and in­structed of­fi­cials to ex­pe­dite restora­tion ef­forts once the sit­u­a­tion im­proves. He also di­rected the of­fi­cials con­cerned to pro­vide re­lief ma­te­ri­als to cy­clone-af­fected peo­ple.

“The chief min­is­ter gave in­struc­tion to send two more teams of NDRF to Ga­jap­ati where ex­ten­sive dam­age has been caused to roads, hut­ments, elec­tric and tele­phone poles," chief sec­re­tary AP Padhi said.

Thir­teen teams of the na­tional dis­as­ter re­sponse force (NDRF) and Orissa dis­as­ter rapid ac­tion force have been de­ployed in af­fected ar­eas along with fire bri­gade per­son­nel. “The dam­age is less than what we had feared,” the chief sec­re­tary said.

Padhi said the state gov­ern­ment res­cued over three lakh peo­ple to safe places, which helped avoid loss of life in the nat­u­ral calamity. The sur­vivors are housed in 1,112 shel­ters where food and san­i­ta­tion fa­cil­i­ties are avail­able, he said.

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