Cyclone Titli intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal today and is moving towards the Odisha coast, triggering rainfall in several parts of the eastern state, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. The weather office said the cyclonic storm is likely to make a landfall between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh early on Thursday morning at a wind speed gusting up to 165 kilometres per hour.
“Titli moved with a speed of about 14 kmph and intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm and lay centred over the west-central Bay of Bengal, about 320 km south-southeast of Gopalpur in Odisha,” IMD said in a bulletin. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre of the US navy also said the cyclone continued to rapidly consolidate and indications of a nascent eye beginning to form.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government began evacuation of people in five coastal districts. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation, asked collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to begin immediate evacuation of people in low-lying areas in the coastal belt.
Chief Secretary A P Padhi said the district administration of Ganjam has already started evacuating people in Gopalpur area, where very severe cyclone ‘Titli’ is likely to make a landfall at about 5.30 am Thursday.