By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 11, 2018: The “very severe” cyclonic storm, “Titli”, left eight people dead, besides causing widespread damage in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of north coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

However, Odisha escaped the fury with no causality as yet, officials said.

The Odisha government said in a release that the cyclone has weakened slightly from its earlier status of “very severe” storm and has now classified it as a “cyclonic storm”. It also forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in several parts of the state.

This has brought people in coastal districts a sigh of relief as the very severe cyclone ‘Titli’ crossed the State without causing much damage after it made landfall near southwest of Gopalpur at Palasa of Srikalumum in Andhra Pradesh today.

Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) Bishnupada Sethi informed that the severe cyclone Titli made a landfall between 4:30 AM and 5:30 AM.

Several places in Gajapati district reported large-scale damage as road communication between Paralakhemundi-Gosani-Kashinagar and Mohana blocks have been cut-off due to the uprooting of trees.

The communication networks have been disrupted while there are also reports of damage to several houses in Gajapati district.

Balasore received very heavy rainfall of 117 mm and Paradip recorded 111 mm of rains. Gopalpur, where the cyclone made its landfall. Gopalpur reported surface wind speed of 126 kmph at 4.30 a.m. and cyclone Titli will completely cross the Odisha coast in two to three hours, informed Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director H.R. Biswas.

“Though there is no report of loss of human lives, cyclone Titli has caused extensive damage in Gajapati district,” said Sethi.

Sethi further informed that in view of the forecast by India Meteorological Department (IMD), Odisha government had taken all preventive measures to ensure ‘zero’ casualty in the State.

Later in the day, Chief Secretary AP Padhi also reviewed the damages caused by cyclone Titli at a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat in Bhubaneswar.

More than three lakh people in several low-lying areas were shifted to 1,112 cyclone shelters in different coastal districts. 105 pregnant women in Ganjam and 18 from Jagatsinghpur district were shifted to hospital by district administrative officials yesterday.

A total of 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and nine Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed at strategic locations to carry out relief and rescue operations at various parts of the State.

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