Natural Disasters

Cyclone Titli weakens after damaging crop, infrastructure

Several places in Odisha have received more than 100 mm rainfall and more is expected

 
By Akshit Sangomla
Last Updated: Friday 12 October 2018
Cyclonic storm
The IMD had predicted that the storm will cause heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Credit: Getty Images The IMD had predicted that the storm will cause heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Credit: Getty Images

UPDATE: The intensity of Cyclone Titli has reduced to a deep depression by October 12 morning, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Current wind speeds are between 45-50 km/hr. It will further move towards West Bengal and weaken into a depression by end of Friday.

Odisha has received seven times the normal rainfall it receives at this time of the year. Four districts of Odisha received more than 100 mm absolute rainfall with Gajapati district receiving the maximum of 170 mm. In Andhra Pradesh Srikakulam received incessant rainfall of 90 mm which is 15 times its normal. Six villages in the district have been affected by the cyclone and consequent rains. 

Significant damages to crops and infrastructure have been reported from Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh, says the National Disaster Management Authority. More than 22,000 acres of vegetable crops, 3,380 acres of paddy crop, 194 acres of banana plantation, 330 acres of cotton crops have been destroyed by the cyclone across three mandals of Srikakulam. Power distribution systems in 4,319 villages and six towns of the district have been affected, according to the Eastern Power Distribution Company of Andhra Pradesh ltd (EPDCL).

The EPDCL also reported that 358 villages in Vijayanagaram district had power distribution problems. It has formed 75 teams of officials to address the situation. 

The IMD has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall in many places in West Bengal, Odisha and the north-eastern states as a result of the depression in the next two days.

October 11, 4.30pm

Cyclone Titli has claimed seven lives in Andhra Pradesh and one in Odisha. Communication lines and roads have been damaged in both districts. Many of the coastal villages have been cut off from the interiors. By 8.30am on October 11, 31 places in Odisha had received more than 100 mm rainfall with Mahendragarh getting a maximum rainfall of 230 mm. More rainfall is expected in the state today.

The storm has reduced in intensity since the wind speed in north Andhra Pradesh which was as high as 150 km/hr during landfall has come down to 90-100 km/hr with occasional gusts of 115 km/hr over 5 districts of Odisha, says IMD. This situation will persist for the next four hours as the cyclone further dissipates and moves towards West Bengal and North Eastern India.

Eventually, by the end of the day, the wind speed will come down to around 50-60 km/hr. In its press release the IMD has issued a red alert for heavy, very heavy and extremely heavy rainfall in Assam and Meghalaya for October 12 and 13.

October 11, 10.30am

Around 5:30 am on Thursday morning the ‘very severe’ cyclonic storm Titli made landfall near Palasa in Srikakulam district of North Andhra Pradesh, says the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

After the landfall process began, five districts in Odisha—Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur—received significant amounts of rainfall. The landfall is touted to cross the Odisha coast by noon. The storm currently has a sustained wind speed of 140-150 km/hr with gusts of wind moving at 165 km/hr. This situation will continue for the next 12-15 hours, after which the storm will begin dissipating and the wind speed will come down.

Doppler weather radars in Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip are closely monitoring the movement and intensity of the storm.

The IMD had earlier predicted that the storm will cause heavy to very heavy rainfall and extremely heavy rainfall in isolated places in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Red alerts were issued in both these states and fishermen were advised to not venture into the sea. The IMD had also warned people to stay indoors and the rail and road traffic to be managed in accordance with the movement of the cyclone. The authorities in Odisha have ordered for schools, colleges and anganwaadis to be shut down for October 11 and 12.

The IMD also predicted widespread damage to houses, communication lines, poles, roads, crops, plantations (especially coconuts) and orchards in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts in Odisha and Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and fire service teams have been put on alert for quick rescue and relief operations.

Luban: Another cyclonic storm

The Arabian Sea, on the other side of the Indian mainland, is also in the grip of a very severe cyclonic storm called Luban which has reached very close to the Yemen and Oman coasts. According to IMD, the storm has constant wind speeds of 135-145 km/hr with gusts of up to 160 km/hr which will persist for the next four days. Once its winds start hitting the coastal areas they are likely to kick up dust from the region along with Pakistan and move it into North Western and Northern India. This might cause an air pollution scare in the region, especially in Delhi which has suffered similar cases of poor air quality during the last two winters. This will also add to the smoke emanating from the stubble burning which is the other cause of air pollution in the capital.

The annual process of stubble burning has already started in many places in Punjab and Haryana. According to data from the Global Forecasting system and the United States National weather service, Luban is likely to make landfall on October 13 or 14.

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