7 killed as Titli batters Srikakulam

The cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ that turned into “a very severe cylconic storm” before its landfall early on Thursday morning triggered intense rain and gales in parts of Srikakulam and Vizainagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh.

In Odisha’s Ganjam district, six persons are missing after a house was washed away in flash floods.

Traffic affected
Seven deaths were reported in Srikakulam as huts and houses collapsed and trees came crashing down. Coconut, banana and cashew cultivations in over 30,000 acres were badly damaged. Trees and electric poles were uprooted, affecting traffic on the Visakhapatnam-Kolkata national highway. Thousands of people were evacuated to relief camps.

The cyclone hit the Andhra coast at Santabommali in the early hours of Thursday. The highest rainfall of 42.6 cm was recorded at Booravilli village of Srikakulam district. The highest wind speed of 129.7 km was recorded at Korlam in the same district. Road network was completely damaged in several areas.

Around 100 houses collapsed in Bhamini, Jalumuru, Kothuru, Narasannapeta, Palakonda, Polaki and other areas. Power supply to 4319 villages was affected.

Uddanam region in Srikakulam district, equally known for its coconuts as for its people suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), was the worst affected.

A large number of its trees were felled by strong gales which moved at speeds in the region of 120 km. It was another blow to this backward district that was battered by Phailin and Hud-Hud cyclones in the previous years.

Relief work to continue for next few days
Around 3 lakh moved to relief camps; Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu to visit Srikakulam today

Cyclone ‘Titli’ that left a trail of destruction in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa on Thursday was relatively minor compared to previous massive cyclones such as Phailin and Hud-Hud.

Srikakulam Collector K.Dhananjaya Reddy said relief work would continue for the next couple of days till cyclone warning is withdrawn officially by the IMD. Chief Minister N.Chandrababu Naidu is expected to visit Palasa, Vajrapukotturur and other places in Srikakluam if weather was clear on Friday, sources said.

Three fishermen missing
Three fishermen are missing after they ventured into the sea that has been rough for the last couple of days. Six persons, including four of a family, are missing after flash floods caused by heavy rains swept away a house in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Thursday. The Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) house on the banks of Odangi river at Pankalbadi village was hit by the surging waters of Odangi, a tributary of Rushikulya river.

Efforts by personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire services police to rescue them continued till in the evening despite the heavy rains.

A 13-year-old girl is reported to have died at K.Nuagaon of Chikiti block in Ganjam district when a wall collapsed under the weight of a tree that fell on the house.

Fallen trees block roads
‘Titli’ had its landfall near Palasa in adjoining Andhra Pradesh in the early hours, causing damage in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Kandhamal districts of Odisha. Several roads remained blocked by fallen trees. Personnel of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), ODRAF, police force, fire services and the administration are working to restore communication and other basic services.

Around three lakh people living in low laying cyclone vulnerable areas of coastal districts have been moved to 1112 relief camps. Around two lakh of them were of Ganjam district.

East Coast Railway that had suspended train services between Khurda Road in Odisha and Vizainagaram in Andhra Pradesh since 10 pm on Wednesday has partially resumed train services on the route.

Orissa CM reviews situation
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik reviewed the situation and administrative measures to in the aftermath of the cyclone at the State secretariat in Bhubaneswar. The meeting was attended by the State Chief Secretary, Development Commissioner, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), heads of various departments and Director, Meteorology department.