In Andhra’s Srikakulam, cyclone Titli leaves trail of devastation
Cyclone Titli, a very severe cyclonic storm, hit the Andhra Pradesh coast near Palasa in the southern state’s Srikakulam district early on Thursday as it uprooted trees, twisted electric poles and dumped heavy rains in the area, weather officials said.
“The centre of the eye of the cyclone that lies over land moved toward Gopalpur in Odisha after hitting the coast in Andhra Pradesh. However, the landfall process will continue for next two to three hours as wall cloud in the rear sector of the cyclone is yet to enter completely into the land,” P Mahapatra, Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre (RSMC) of India Meteorology Department (IMD), said while speaking to the Hindustan Times.
Gopalpur in Odisha reported 102kmph and Kalingapatnam 56kmph surface wind speed at 5:30am, IMD said in a bulletin.
The three north coastal districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam experienced heavy rains and high-speed gales.
Seawater entered houses in Uppada in East Godavari district as the maximum of the height of the tides was of 10ft along the coast close to the point of landfall. The highway in the Uppada-Kakinada stretch was closed for traffic as a precautionary measure.
Cyclone Titli battered Palasa municipality badly, bringing life to a standstill and several mandals in Srikakulam district continued to reel under pitched darkness.
Indian Railways suspended trains bound for Srikakulam and the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) also withdrew its bus services covering the cyclone-affected areas and power supply was shut down in the wake of warnings sounded by IMD.
There were no casualties reported so for anywhere in the cyclone-hit areas because of preparedness by official machinery, asserted chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu at a teleconference with the district collectors of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram.
Uddanam region with seven mandals in Srikakulam district bore the brunt of Cyclone Titli with heavy damages of coconut and cashew plantations. Standing crops in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts also reported damages on a massive scale. Officials said it will be difficult to assess the extent of losses before taking up enumerations.
Naidu kept received updates from officials on the field on the impact of the cyclone through real-time gross satellite system (RTGS) and monitored the situation from time to time. He is scheduled to leave for Srikakulam district on Thursday night to personally monitor the relief operations.