Cyclone Titli Latest updates: The Odisha unit of Congress on Wednesday opened a 24-hour emergency cell to help the people likely to be affected by the cyclone ‘Titli’, which is fast approaching towards the coastal areas of the state. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, ordered officials to target “zero casualty”.

At a press conference, the Odisha chief secretary said that Cyclone Title has been upgraded to ‘very severe cyclonic storm’. “Land fall is expected at 5.30 am tomorrow (Thursday) in south Odisha,” he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who took stock of the situation, asked the collectors of Ganjam, Puri, Khurda, Kendrapara and Jagtsinghpur districts to go for an immediate evacuation of people in the low-laying areas in the coastal belt.

Chief Secretary AP Padhi said the district administration of Ganjam has already started evacuating people in Gopalpur area, where very severe cyclone ‘Titli’ is likely to make a landfall at about 5.30 am Thursday. So far, about 1,000 people have been shifted to safer place, he said.

The IMD advised total suspension of fishing operations and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safe places. Fishermen along the Odisha coast, and central and north Bay of Bengal were advised not to venture into sea till Friday.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who chaired a high-level meet to take stock of the situation, asked the authorities to ensure “zero casualty” and keep the cyclone shelters ready for housing the people during disaster.

Cyclone ‘Titli’ over Bay of Bengal intensifies into very severe cyclonic storm with gusty winds reaching the speed of over 155 kilometre per hour. The cyclone is moving towards Odisha-Andhra Pradesh coast.

The Odisha government on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools, colleges and Anganwadi centres till October 10-11 in four districts of the state as a precautionary measure against Cyclone Titli.

It has been decided in the meeting chaired by the chief secretary that all schools, colleges and Anganwadi centres in the districts of Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri and Jagatsinghpur will remain closed on October 10 and October 11.

“Cyclonic storm Titli is likely to intensify further by tomorrow and is expected to make a landfall near Gopalpur on October 11. Keeping in mind heavy to very heavy rainfall forecast, we have decided to declare holidays for schools and educational institutions in four districts from tomorrow,” said Padhi.

He informed that the government will take a decision for closure of educational institutions in other parts of the state after monitoring the situation on Wednesday.

The Health Department has asked the officials to keep power back-up and generator sets ready at health facilities to meet any eventuality.

It also asked for a contingency plan for medical relief centre, which should be opened as early as possible.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2018 20:33 PM