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The process of landfall of very severe cyclone Titli started early Thursday with surface wind speeds reaching 126kmph at Gopalpur in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
“The process of landfall has started and it will completely cross the Odisha coast in one or two hours. The system will pass close to Gopalpur,” H.R. Biswas, Director of Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar, told.The Odisha government has geared up its machinery to tackle the situation caused by Titli. The state government had already evacuated over 3 lakh people living in low-lying areas and kuchha houses in five coastal districts before Titli made landfall. The IMD said, “The forward sector of the eye of the storm has been entering into the landmass.”
While Gopalpur in Odisha reported surface winds at 126kmph, Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh recorded wind speed of 56kmph. As the landfall process of Titli started on Thursday, at least five districts—Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur—are receiving good amount of rainfall coupled with high-speed winds under the cyclone’s impact. Biswas said Titli is being monitored by the coastal Doppler weather radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip.
The latest observations indicate that Titli, over the west-central Bay of Bengal, moved north-northwestwards with a speed of about 19kmph since 12am on Thursday. After the landfall, Titli is very likely to re-curve gradually northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually. Reports of trees and electric poles getting uprooted and damage to kuchha houses were received, officials said, adding that road communication in some places, including Gopalpur and Berhampur, was snapped as rains caused by Titli gained in intensity.