Bhubaneswar, Oct 10: As the cyclonic storm “Titli” intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and approaching aggressively for a landfall near Gopalpur coast tomorrow morning, the Odisha government today requested the centre to keep the IAF and Navy as standby.
The state government today ordered the closure of all educational institutions and Anganbadi centres across the state on October 11 and 12 and cancelled the college elections scheduled for tomorrow. The government had a deployed the NDRF and ODRAF teams and kept mechanized boats ready for relief and rescue operation.
The collectors of five coastal districts have been asked to start the evacuation of the people residing in the low lying areas and also close to the sea coast to more safer places.
IMD sources said the cyclonic storm Titli has already assumed an aggressive form over the Bay of Bengal close to the Gopalpur coast in Odisha’s Ganjam district and will hit the Gopalpur coast by 0530 hours tomorrow.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today chaired a high level meeting with state chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, Special Relief Commissioner, DGP and other senior officials of the concerned departments to take stock of the situation. The Chief Minister has asked for zero casualty and asked the concerned departments to undertake the restoration work, particularly on roads, power and health after the cyclonic storm crossed the state.
The IMD has issued Red warning for Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore districts where heavy to very heavy rainfall would lash during the next 24 hours. Similarly, Orange warning has been issued for eight districts where heavy rainfall would occur.
At least five blocks in Ganjam district have been put on high alert and the Ganjam district collector has been asked to evacuate the people to safer places before the cyclonic storm Titli hit the land mass.
Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethy said the NDRF teams had been deployed in nine districts while the ODRAF teams were rushed to eight other districts.
He said, 836 cyclone shelters across the state have been kept ready and the collectors of all the coastal districts have been asked to shift the people to the shelter centres where sufficient food and other relief materials are stored.
Mr Sethy said, presently the focus is to shift the people from the low lying areas and those residing close to the coast to safer places and the process has already started.
He said, incessant rains since last night might trigger floods in some rivers and accordingly all precautionary measures were taken and boats were kept ready for relief and rescue operation in the event of floods in any river.
Meanwhile, panic buying has started in many parts of Odisha as people apprehending shortage of essential commodities started, queued before the shops to purchase ration and vegetables for at least a week.
State Civil Supply and Consumer Affairs Minister S N Patro appealed to the people not to be panicked as sufficient food materials are available in the state.
The IMD today issued a Orange warning for districts of North Andhra Pradesh and South Odisha coast as the Cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ over westcentral Bay of Bengal will be intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and hit the landmass between Kalingapatanam and Gopalpur by tomorrow morning.
IMD sources said the Cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ over westcentral Bay of Bengal moved north-northwestwards and intensified into a severe cyclonic storm and lay cantered about 370 km south-southeast of Gopalpur (Odisha) and 310 km southeast of Kalingapatnam (Andhra Pradesh).
It is very likely to intensify further into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm during next 18 hours to move north-northwestwards and cross Odisha & adjoining north Andhra Pradesh coasts between Gopalpur & Kalingapatnam around morning of October.11
The severe cyclonic storm is very likely to re-curve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually.
Gale wind speed reaching 100-110 kmph gusting to 125 kmph prevails over deep sea areas of westcentral and adjoining north Bay of Bengal and gradually increase to 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from evening today October 11 noon.
Gale wind speed reaching 60-70 kmph gusting to 80 kmph is very likely to commence along and off north Andhra Pradesh and Odisha coasts from today afternoon which will increase gradually becoming 120-130 kmph gusting to 145 kmph from October 10 night onwards along and off south Odisha & adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts.
Meanwhile, rain lashed several parts of coastal and southern Odisha early this morning. The state government has ordered the closure of all educational institutions in four districts likely to be hit by the cyclonic storm Titli.
The district collectors have been sounded alert and asked to take all precautionary measures and evacuate the people from the low lying areas to safer places.(UNI)