CYCLONE TITLI MAKES LANDFALL IN EASTERN INDIA

Severe cyclonic storm, Titli, made landfall in India's Odisha, early Thursday morning, triggering heavy rains in the eastern state and the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh, officials said.

Titli, which means butterfly in Hindi, hit Odisha's coastal town of Gopalpur around 6.00 a.m. local time, at a speed of 140 to 150 kph, an Indian Meteorological Department official said.

"The cyclone is expected to weaken gradually with decreasing wind speed," he added.

Though there has been no reports of any casualty so far, trees and electric poles were uprooted in several parts of Odisha.

"This is because around 300,000 people have been evacuated. Moreover, 1,112 relief camps have been opened across Odisha, for the evacuees in the shelters," the state's Special Relief Commissioner, Bishnupada Sethi, said.

Meanwhile, authorities have cancelled all flights and train services, between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. "Some private carriers have suspended all flight operations in Odisha," an official said.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), have already been deployed in vulnerable districts across Odisha.

"The Indian military will be pressed into service, if the need arises," another official said.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK