Cyclonic storm Titli left eight people dead and caused widespread damage in two coastal districts in India's Andhra Pradesh yesterday. However, there was no casualty or major destruction in adjacent Odisha, officials said.
Officials in Bangladesh said they were on alert in Cox's Bazar, home to around one million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar living in tarpaulin and bamboo shelters.
The cyclone packing winds of up to 150 kilometres (95 miles) per hour and heavy rains hit eastern India early yesterday, reports AFP.
The Odisha state government evacuated more than 300,000 people from five coastal districts on Wednesday while local schools, colleges and childcare centres were ordered closed and fishermen advised not to go out to the sea.
“We have already evacuated three lakh people and more may be shifted to safer places in view of the very severe cyclone,” PTI quoted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as saying.
They were accommodated in more than 1,100 cyclone shelters. Officials have also shifted 123 pregnant women to hospitals.
In Bangladesh, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya said the government cancelled the weekly leave of all its officials and employees in 19 costal districts as part of precautionary steps to tackle the cyclone.
The Dhaka Met office yesterday asked maritime ports of Chattogram, Cox's Bazar, Mongla and Payra to lower local cautionary signal No 4 to signal No 3.
ANDHRA PRADESH HIT HARD
Six fishermen were killed in different storm-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Minister's Office and the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA) said in separate statements.
A 62-year-old woman died when a tree fell on her, a 55-year-old man died in a house collapse in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, the SDMA said.
The road network was badly damaged in Srikakulam district while power supply was also hit. More than 2,000 electric poles were uprooted by strong wind, hitting electricity supply in 4,319 villages and six towns.
Traffic on Chennai-Kolkata National Highway was also hit at places like Tekkali due to uprooted trees.
Movement of trains and flights were also affected in parts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.
The cyclone also triggered heavy rainfall in at least three districts in the state and caused minor damage to power and communication.
MAYA BRIEFS PRESS
Addressing a press conference at PID in Dhaka yesterday, the disaster management minister said the government got the cyclone forecast a few days ago and started taking necessary steps since then, reports BSS.
The field administration along with Fire Service and Civil Defense, Ansar-VDP, Scouts and 56,000 volunteers under the Cyclone Preparedness Programme have been put on alert to tackle any consequences of the storm, the minister said.
The government has alerted all the district and upazila administrations in the coastal regions to the cyclone.
“Adequate relief materials have been stockpiled in those districts and round-the-clock communication has been established with the district and upazila level officials,” Maya said.
Rohingya Commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam said the cyclone had brought rain to Cox's Bazar over the last three days.
“We're on alert. We've taken adequate cautionary measures for the cyclone," Kalam said, adding that Dhaka had held meetings with agencies operating in the camps in preparation for the storm.
Our New Delhi correspondent contributed to this report.