Cyclone Titli has made landfall in Odisha near Gopalpur, the weather department said today.
The process of landfall of the very severe cyclone started early Thursday with surface wind reaching speeds of 126 km/hour at Gopalpur in Odisha’s Ganjam district, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh recorded wind speed of 56 km/hour.
Reports of trees, electric poles getting uprooted and damages to kuchha houses have started coming, officials said. Communication in some places, including Gopalpur and Berhampur, was snapped.
As the landfall process started, at least five districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur are receiving heavy rainfall coupled with high speed winds.
People in coastal areas of Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh are preparing to face the full onslaught of Cyclone Titli.
‘Titli’, which means butterfly in Hindi, has been categorised as a "very severe cyclonic storm".
People in five coastal districts in Odisha are being moved to safety after the storm intensified.
All schools, colleges and anganwadi centres in the affected districts of Odisha are closed today.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation, asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to go for an immediate evacuation of people in low-lying areas in the coastal belt.
The Odisha government said it is prepared to face possible floods due to heavy rain.
Low-lying areas of Ganjam, Khurda and Puri districts are likely to be inundated because of storm surge of height of about 1 metre above astronomical tide, according to the Met department.
The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force have already been positioned in vulnerable districts.
"We have not yet sought help of Army. If required we may go for it," an official said. Another official said the Air Force and the Navy have been alerted about the situation.>