Dead in Andhra's Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram; Power, Communication Hit in Both Di

2 killed as Cyclone Titli smashes eastern India

The people in the affected districts can contact on the Congress helpline numbers - 7609852131, 8895203001, 9861011962, 7008799364, 9348161633, 8847858020, 9937948868 and 9237010939.

The Bay of Bengal often witnesses cyclones at this time of year, with some causing widespread death and destruction.

The cyclone also uprooted several trees, electricity poles and communication towers, disrupting normal life.

"The storm has caused heavy to very heavy rainfall in some districts of Odisha, damage to houses, street lights and roadblocks due to fallen trees", said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

Cyclone Titli, which intensified into a "very severe cyclonic storm" over the Bay of Bengal, made landfall on India's eastern coast early Thursday, the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency reported. Standing crops in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts also reported damages on a massive scale.

Collectors of 5 districts directed to start evacuation of people living in low lying areas.

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The landfall process has been completed and "the centre of eye of cyclone "Titli" lies over the land", the IMD said.

According to data with the Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority (APSDMA), 3,000 hectares of paddy, 29 hectares of banana crops and 9,000 hectares of vegetable crops were damaged across two mandals in Srikakulam, Jalumuru, Polaki.

Taking the situation into account the state government has canceled leaves for all government employees and has asked all officials who are on leave to join duty immediately, the chief secretary informed.

Apart from making all arrangement for rescue and relief operations, the chief minister also ordered closure of all schools, colleges and anganwadi centres on Thursday and Friday in view of the IMD's forecast of heavy to very heavy rainfall across the state.

During its north westward movement it will weaken gradually and re-curve north eastward towards Gangetic West Bengal.

"Long distance trains slated to pass through East Coast Railway jurisdiction between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram on Howrah-Chennai main line may be diverted via Kharagpur-Jharsuguda-Nagpur-Balharshah-Vijayawada route", he said. As many as 105 pregnant women in Ganjam and 18 in Jagatsinghpur were shifted to hospitals. The IMD has said the region will experience very heavy rain, which could lead to flooding, and strong winds.

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