The deep depression over the Bay of Bengal has intensified into a severe cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ and is moving towards the Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast with a speed of 8 kmph, the IMD said on Tuesday.

The Odisha government had earlier informed that the cyclonic storm Titli was very likely to intensify into a severe cyclonic storm by Wednesday noon.

The IMD has also issued a red alert in Odisha for Wednesday and Thursday, forecasting “heavy to very heavy rainfall” at several places and “extremely heavy rainfall” at isolated areas in the state.

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan on Tuesday took an urgent review of the developing scenario of cyclonic storm ‘Titli’ over the Bay of Bengal and another cyclonic storm ‘Luban’ over the Arabian sea. The Union Minister took stock of all associated warnings issued to various state government authorities, coastal authorities and fishermen by the IMD.

Cyclone Titli is expected to intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm and cross east coast of India between Kalingapatnam (north Andhra Pradesh) and Gopalpur (south Odisha) in the morning of 11th October, a press release said.

“Squally wind speed reaching 45-55 kmph gusting to 65 kmph is very likely to commence along and off along north Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal coast from Tusday night. It is very likely to increase gradually becoming 100-110 kmph gusting to 125 kmph from 10th October evening onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of north Andhra Pradesh coasts, it added.

The minister for Earth Sciences has directed all senior officials to closely monitor the developing situation and all precautions to be taken and necessary communications be done to ensure that the damage is minimal. The situation is currently being monitored at the highest level.

Titli lays centred at about 530 km southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha and 480 km east-southeast of Kalingapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, the IMD has said.

Under its influence, heavy rainfall is likely at some places in south coastal Odisha’s Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur districts from Wednesday.

This apart, districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Bhadrak and Balasore are expected to receive heavy to very heavy rainfall Wednesday and Thursday, the IMD said.

It also predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall for Kandhamal, Boudh and Dhenkanal district from Thursday.

In view of the adverse weather conditions, it has advised hoisting of distant cautionary signal number one and local warning signal LW-4 at all ports of Odisha.

The Odisha government was also cautioned about possible floods in view of the heavy rainfall across the state.

It also issued a storm surge warning, stating it will be about 0.5 metre high above the astronomical tide and is very likely to inundate low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts of Odisha and Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh during the time of landfall.

The state government has issued alert in all districts, particularly those in coastal region to face the ensuing situation.

The district collectors have been asked to remain alert and make necessary arrangements to shift people living in low lying areas, officials said.

Deputy Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra informed that around 300 motor boats have been arranged to assist in rescue operation as there is likelihood of flood situation due to possibility of heavy rains till October 11.
All the 879 cyclone and flood shelters have also been kept in a state of preparedness, he said.

Educational institutions have been closed and evacuation has started in some of the low lying areas of Ganjam and Gajapati districts. NDRF, ODRAF, and fire service units have been deployed for rescue and relief operations.

We are in touch with the Navy and Air Force and will request for their assistance as and when required, said Special Relief Commissioner B P Sethi.

Another cyclonic storm, Luban, has also intensified into a severe cyclonic storm over west-central Arabian Sea.

It is very likely to intensify further and move west-northwestwards towards the coasts of Yemen and South Oman during the next four days, the IMD said.

(With PTI inputs)