Cyclone Titli spares lives, but wreaks havoc in Odisha's Ganjam and Gajapati districts

Power outage in most parts of Ganjam including Berhampur was reported as transformers and electric poles were damaged

Published: 11th October 2018 01:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2018 07:26 AM   |  A+A-

Vehicular communication came to a grinding halt as roads connecting Gopalpur and other stretches of Ganjam and Gajapati due to felling of trees (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The very severe cyclone Titli battered South Odisha’s Ganjam and Gajapati districts with wind speed gusting to 150 kmph, uprooting trees, electricity poles and damaging thatched houses besides snapping communication lines after landfall early Thursday morning. However, the State Government claimed that its efforts to ensure ‘zero casualty’ were successful as no deaths were reported from anywhere.

The cyclone that crossed the coast at Palasa in Andhra Pradesh very close to Gopalpur in Ganjam district at around 5.30 am triggered heavy rainfall and gale force in the two districts.
“There has been no major damage or report of casualty received from any part of the State so far. Some destruction was reported from Ganjam and Gajapati districts,” Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) BP Sethi said.

Power supply and telephone links got disrupted and road communication snapped due to uprooted trees at many places of Gajapati district. Road communication between Paralakhemundi and Mohana and some other block headquarters in Gajapati had been disrupted under the impact of the cyclone, the SRC said and added that efforts are on to clear road blocks and restore power supply at the earliest.

However, at least five persons were feared dead and six other were missing as the cyclone battered the two districts. The casualties have though not been officially confirmed.

Ganjam Collector Vijay Amrita Kulange said six persons of a family in Surada NAC were missing and feared to have been washed away.

“The family from Gajalbadi panchayat in Surada are missing from 12 pm. The villagers after being unable to contact them informed the district administration. Search operation is on to trace and rescue them,” the Collector said.

About three lakh people were shifted from low-lying and vulnerable areas in Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Khordha districts and were kept in more than 1100 multi-purpose cyclone shelters. More than 150 pregnant women were shifted to various hospitals on Wednesday night.
All arrangements were made for food, drinking water, sanitation, and lighting.

All the cyclone shelters are equipped with emergency equipment with 32 types of sophisticated equipment required for disaster management including power saw, siren, free kitchen utensils, flexi water tank, solar light, stretcher, life buoy and life jacket, inflatable tower light and generator.

PM assures all help to two States

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnail regarding the situation. “Spoke to Shri @ncbn Ji and Shri @Naveen_Odisha Ji regarding the situation arising due to cyclone related conditions in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Assured all possible help from the Centre. I pray for the safety and well-being of those affected by the cyclone,” Modi said in a tweet. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at New Delhi and discussed the situation with him. Pradhan assured that the Centre will provide all assistance to Odisha Government for reconstruction and rehabilitation in the cyclone affected areas.

The SRC said 13 teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed at several places along with fire brigade.
The tropical storm triggered heavy rain in the two southern coastal districts. Mohana in Gajapati recorded highest rainfall of 315 mm during the day, while rainfall at R Udaygiri and Chikiti was registered at 223.8 mm and 213.6 mm respectively.

Apart from the southern districts including Rayagada, several parts of coastal districts including Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and Balasore were also affected due to heavy rain triggered by the severe cyclonic storm.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik  reviewed the situation after Titli’s landfall and directed officials to rush adequate relief materials ad restore essential services at the earliest. The district collectors have been asked to prepare reports on house and crop damage immediately.


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