Cyclone Titli claims eight lives in Andhra

Eight people were killed in a very severe cyclonic storm Titli which wrecked havoc in north coastal Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, officials said.

The cyclone, which made landfall between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha early on Thursday, uprooted trees, electricity poles and communication towers and also damaged crops.

Srikakulam and Vijayanagaram districts were affected by the cyclone, which hit the coast near Palasa close to the border with Odisha. Srikakulam district bore the brunt as the strong winds uprooted a large number of coconut trees.

Officials said five deaths were reported from Srikakulam district while three persons were killed in neighbouring Vijayanagaram district. Six fishermen were among the dead.

Parts of the two districts received heavy rainfall triggered by the cyclone.

Uprooted trees fell on the roads, disrupting the vehicular traffic. The state-owned road transport corporation suspended all bus services on the Andhra-Odisha border area.

Several trains were cancelled or diverted due to cyclone.

According to East Coast Railway, railway stations were damaged at several places. The station at Palasa suffered massive damage. Teams of railway officials were studying the impact of cyclone between Palasa and Brahmpur.

According to the Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Centre, Titli crossed between North Andhra and South Odisha coast near Palasa with wind speed of 140-150 km per hour.

Local cautionary signal number three kept hoisted at Kalingapatnam port but the warning was withdrawn from Bheemunipatnam, Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram and other ports.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the cyclone situation at a meeting with top officials in Vijayawada. He directed officials to launch relief operations and closely monitor the situation.