Very severe' cyclone Titli nears Odisha, schools shut; Army on stand by

BHUBANESHWAR: Cyclone Titli, which intensified into a very severe cyclonic storm over the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday as it moved towards the Odisha coast, is expected to make landfall early Thursday morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said. Heavy rainfall is also taking place under its influence since late Tuesday.

The weather office said the cyclonic storm is likely to make a landfall between Gopalpur in Odisha and Kalingapatanam in Andhra Pradesh around 5.30 am Thursday 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.

According to the IMD, Cyclone Titli intensified further into a very severe cyclonic storm during at 11.30 am on Wednesday and may lead to waves rising up to 1 metre on the coast. Under its impact, heavy rains have already started in Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Balasore and Kendrapara districts.

"With a sustained windspeed of 140 km per hour, Titli would hit the coast around 5.30 am on October 11 and then rage on for next 5-6 hours with a similar force. It would however gradually weaken and re-curve northeastwards and move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha by Thursday afternoon," said HR Biswas, Director of Bhubaneswar meteorological Office.

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