State braces for cyclone Titli
Cyclone Titli, which is likely to turn into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours, may cause havoc in the state’s southern and coastal belts, particularly in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda and Nayagarh districts.
The state government has geared up its machinery to face the cyclone as heavy rain will take place at many places with gusty winds reaching a speed of 110kmph to 125kmph.
With an aim to ensure zero-casualty during the cyclone, the state government on Tuesday announced that schools, colleges, anaganwadi centres would be closed in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts from Wednesday till October 12. The cyclone lies centred about 510km southeast of Gopalpur and will cross Odisha and adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coast between Gopalpur and Kalingapatnam on Thursday morning.
Chief secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi on Tuesday convened a meeting of officials and took stock of the state’s preparedness for the oncoming calamity. “Depending on the movement of the cyclone, we will take a call about closing down of schools and colleges in other districts on Wednesday.”
Extremely heavy rainfall is likely to occur in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhen-kanal, Bhadrak, Balasore and Rayagada districts under the influence of the cyclone. Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Boudh, Keonjhar and Mayurbhanj will also witness considerable rain till October 12.
Fishermen have been asked not to venture into the sea. Various Durga Puja committees preparing for the celebrations also remained concerned. “Almost all the puja mandaps are nearing completion. If the cyclone turns into a severe storm, it may damage the mandaps. We have asked our contractors to go slow on decoration,” said Japani Routray, general secretary of the Rasulgarh Durga Puja Committee. The Dussehra festival begins from October 16.
Special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi said: “ We are keeping a close watch on the movement of the cyclone. If necessary, we will evacuate people from low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri.”
The state has deployed six National Disaster Response Force and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force teams to tackle the calamity.
Ganjam collector Vijay Amrit Kulange said: “We have taken necessary steps to minimise losses due to the impact of Titli. We have identified families in the coastal area that need to be moved to safer places.”
(Additional reporting by Sunil Patnaik in Berhampur)