By Prarthana Mitra
After leaving a spate of destruction on the Andhra and Utkal coast, cyclone Titli started moving northeast on Thursday night, threatening to unleash further havoc over Gangetic West Bengal in the next two days. Depression with occasional thunder and lightning continued to worsen the flood situation and hampered rescue operations in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on Friday.
Here’s what happened so far
Earlier on Thursday, over 3,000 people were evacuated in Andhra Pradesh, while the Odisha government rehabilitated over three lakh people to safe places in 1,112 shelters due to heavy flood and fear of landfall. PTI reported a death of an eight-year-old boy in Odisha overnight, with six families missing. The National Disaster Management Authority confirmed seven deaths in Andhra Pradesh Friday morning.
Trajectory of the cyclone on Friday
Early on Friday, All India Radio first reported that the cyclone was weakening and moving northeast. The Indian Met Department (IMD) reported before noon that the system would result in depression within the next 12 hours.
The Meteorological Centre, Bhubaneswar also issued a press release at noon predicting moderate to severe thunderstorm, heavy rain and strong surface wind in several districts of Bhubaneswar. As predicted, the water level of Vansadhara river crossed the danger mark of 84m by 2 PM. Similarly, the water level of river Rushikulya also surpassed 16.83m and touched 18.60 metre at Purushottampur in Ganjam, both in Odisha.
Odisha’s coastal district of Ganjam, inhabited mostly by fishermen, was severely hit and rescue operations continued despite heavy rains throughout the day. the Indian Coast Guard deployed its team in Aksa town at daybreak. In Andhra Pradesh, six villages of the Srikakulam district were the worst affected due to heavy rainfall.
Thousands of passengers remained stranded at Vishakhapatnam, Puri and Balasore railway stations. At least 16 trains have been cancelled, 11 others have been rescheduled, three others were partially cancelled and nine trains were diverted following the incessant rain triggered by Titli, East Coast Railway official said, PTI reported.
PM Modi spoke to Andhra Pradesh and Odisha CMs, assuring ‘all possible help’ to deal with the aftermath of the cyclone, the most disastrous the region has since Hudhud in 2014. Patnaik constituted a three-member ministerial committee Friday evening, to visit the three worst-affected districts to monitor rescue and relief operation. Naidu ordered an immediate supply of essential commodities to the families affected.
Predictions from the Met Department
IMD predicted heavy to very heavy rain in isolated places over Assam, Meghalaya, Gangetic West Bengal, Odisha and Nagaland over the next two days. The squally wind speed is likely to increase to 120-130 kmph, with gusts of 145 kmph in cyclone-hit areas.
— SkymetWeather (@SkymetWeather) October 12, 2018
Skymet has predicted heavy rain in several districts of Bengal including Digha, Kolkata, Contai, Purulia and both the North and South 24 Parganas over the next 24 hours. Fishermen along West Bengal and Odisha coasts have been advised not to venture into sea till Saturday. The North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Jhargram, East Burdwan, Howrah and Hooghly districts in the Gangetic West Bengal are likely to be affected the most, PTI reported based on an aggregate of weather reports.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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