Titli cyclone: 3 Lakh people shifted in over 1 thousand shelter camps

Bhubaneswar: After tropical-cyclone ‘Titli’, closed in towards Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast, as many as 300,000 people have been shifted from vulnerable areas to shelter camps as part of relief and rescue operation, informed Odisha’s special relief commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

“Since there was a warning about Titli, we identified vulnerable areas and shifted people to our shelters. We have built large number of multi-purpose cyclone shelters all over the state. In more than 1100 shelters we evacuated and kept about 300,000 people overnight. Pregnant women were shifted to hospital. It was a very elaborate operation and we wanted to ensure that our target of achieving zero casualties is achieved and we are successful in doing that.”

Elaborating on state’s preparedness, the relief commissioner said, “We had been taking all warnings and forecast very seriously and have been tracking the movement of the cyclone, from the time IMD had declared the low depression and now the very severe cyclone. We had stopped people from going to the sea. We have deployed 30 Units of NDRF in different districts along with 20 units of Odisha Disaster Response Forces. We had about 335 fire units which have been deployed and after the cyclone landfall the cleaning operation was started to ensure road connectivity is maintained.”

Duty Officer of Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, Srinivas also shared details of cyclone’s impact in the state.

He said, “Up to evening of today, North Andhra Pradesh may experience wind speed from 50-60 kmph sometimes it may be to 70 Kmph also. Speaking of sea conditions, very rough to high conditions still prevailing over west central Bay of Bengal, under this condition it advised to Fishermen to not to venture into the sea.”

Sharing details of the landfall and what course is the storm, expected to take, he added, “Storm Titli which knocked Andhra Pradesh has moved in the north-west direction. It is likely to move in the west-north-west direction and will be later taking a re-curve to West Bengal across Odisha coast. Under the influence of this system, strong winds were experienced. Immediately after landfall, the wind speed was 140-150 kmph. Gradually, it was weakening.”

Cyclonic storm Titli has left at least eight people dead in Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh. Among those killed, five people were from Srikakulam and three from Vijayanagaram. Most of them were fishermen.