With Durga Puja around the corner, Cyclone 'Titli' enters West Bengal, very heavy rainfall expected

The cyclonic storm is likely to trigger rainfall at most places of the Gangetic West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura.

With Durga Puja around the corner, Cyclone 'Titli' enters West Bengal, very heavy rainfall expected

The cyclonic storm 'Titli' has weakened into a depression over Odisha and has moved east-northeastwards and lay centred over North Odisha and adjoining West Bengal, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

The cyclonic storm is likely to trigger rainfall at most places of the Gangetic West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, and Tripura. Heavy to very heavy rainfalls are expected at isolated places.

The IMD has warned of rough to very rough sea conditions along and off the West Bengal and north Odisha coasts. The fishermen are advised not to venture into the sea along and off Odisha and West Bengal coasts and north Bay of Bengal.

Meanwhile, severe cyclonic storm, ‘LUBAN’ over the Arabian Sea has a moved further west-northwestwards and weakened into a cyclonic storm. It is likely to cross Yemen Coast between Riyan (Mukalla) and Al-Ghaidah (Yemen) on Saturday afternoon as a severe cyclonic storm. 

The fishermen have been advised not to venture into the west-central Arabian Sea along and off south Oman and Yemen coast and also over the Gulf of Aden till Saturday.

The Odisha government on Friday stepped up rescue and relief operation in areas affected by deluge areas caused due to heavy rainfall under the influence of Cyclone Titli, officials said. As many as 1,27,262 people were sheltered in 963 relief centres on Friday, while the NDRF and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) have been deployed to speed up rescue and relief operations, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) B P Sethi said.

Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Puri, Kandhamal and Kendrapara districts have been affected by floods, he said, adding Ganjam has been categorised as the "worst-affected". The calamities have, till now, claimed three lives - all in Ganjam district. "Two helicopters requisitioned from the Indian Navy have already reached Gopalpur. Air dropping operation in Ganjam district will start from Saturday morning," the SRC said.

To pace up rescue and relief operations, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik formed a three-member ministerial team to visit the flood-affected Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts and monitor the operations there. "Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Maheswar Mohanty, Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari and Energy Minister Sushant Singh will oversee the rescue, relief and restoration activities in the three districts hit by both cyclone and flood," a communication from chief minister's office said.

Meanwhile, the state government cancelled the Dusshera vacation of all its employees in southern and central division, including Bhubaneswar, in view of cyclone Titli and subsequent flooding in different parts of the state.

About 60 lakh people have been affected in the twin calamities and normal life was badly hit in Ganjam, Gajapati and Rayagada districts, where the flood situation remained grim as water levels in major rivers such as Rushikulya and Bansadhara crossed danger marks, official sources said. Sethi said Balasore district was also affected by flood.

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