After cyclone Titli was upgraded to a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ category on Wednesday, the meteorological centre in Bhubaneswar said the interior regions adjacent to Odisha’s coast will receive heavy rainfall accompanied by strong winds.
“The cyclone is not as severe as Phailin, which was a higher category storm. But the effect will be there,” said HR Biswas, director of the meteorological centre in Bhubaneswar.
Dubbed as a ‘superstorm’, cyclone Phailin was an ‘extremely severe category storm’ that hit Odisha five years ago in 2013.
Like Phailin, Titli is expected to make landfall near Gopalpur in the wee hours of Thursday. “The storm will hit land between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh on early Thursday morning and gradually move north and northeastward,” Biswas said.
“The cyclone was 280 kilometer south east from Gopalpur at 11.30 am today.”
The maximum sustained surface wind speed at landfall at 5.30 am on Thursday is expected to be peak 140-150 kmph, with gusting up to 165 kmph.
By 5.30 pm, the wind speed is expected to come down to 70 to 80 kmph. However, rainfall at most places and heavy rainfall at some places will continue throughout the day, according to the meteorological centre.
Official communication says extremely heavy rainfall will be witnessed in isolated places over coastal and some interior locations in Odisha while the situation is likely to improve on Friday, with heavy rainfall expected at only isolated places, before normalising on Saturday.
North coastal Andhra Pradesh will face a reduced effect of the cyclone, officials say, as the storm will turn north after hitting land. Parts of Gangetic West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura will experience rainfall on October 11-12.
The meteorological department has said that the cyclone is likely to cause damage in Gajapati, Ganjam, Khurda, Nayagarh and Puri districts of Odisha and Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
The IMD advised total suspension of fishing operations and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safe places.
Fishermen along the Odisha coast and central and north Bay of Bengal were advised not to venture into sea till Friday.
In view of the adverse weather conditions, it has advised hoisting of local warning signal LW-4 at all ports of Odisha.
The Odisha government was also cautioned about the possible floods in view of the heavy rainfall across the state.
The state government geared up to face the situation setting a target of "zero casualty". It has already issued high alert in all districts, particularly those in the coastal region, which will face the brunt of the cyclone.