Cyclone leaves as many as 500,000 people without power in India

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"For relief and rescue operations, the NDRF teams have been deployed in Gajapati, Puri, Kendrapara, Nayagarh, Bhadrak and Jajpur districts while the ODRAF teams have been deployed in Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Cuttack, Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Kalahandi districts".

Biswas said the very severe cyclonic storm (VSCS), "Titli", is being monitored by the coastal Doppler Weather Radars at Visakhapatnam, Gopalpur and Paradip.

The cyclonic storm Titli made landfall near Palasa in Andhra Pradesh's Srikakulam district early on Thursday, bringing with it strong winds that uprooted trees and heavy rainfall.

Wind speed could increase to 140-150 kmph with gusting to 165 kmph from Wednesday midnight night onwards along and off south Odisha and adjoining districts of the north Andhra Pradesh coast.

Chief Secretary A P 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.

"Down trains from Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam side will not be allowed from Duvvada after 1840 hrs and no movement of passenger trains will take place between Khurda Road and Vizianagaram section after 2200 hrs, till further advice", it added.

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He said the district collectors have been asked to shift the people in the low-lying areas to the multi-purpose calamity shelters.

Odisha government has set the target for "zero casualties". However, more heavy rain is expected in the next 24 hours, which could lead to flooding.

Education officials in Orissa said schools and colleges across the state would be closed for the rest of the week. "Thereafter, it is very likely to re-curve northeastwards, move towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha and weaken gradually", said a statement by the IMD.

The IMD advised total suspension of fishing operations and shifting of coastal hutment dwellers to safe places.

The weatherman warned fishermen not to venture into the sea along and off the coasts of West Bengal, Odisha, deep sea areas of North Bay and Central Bay of Bengal till 12 October. All the 879 cyclone and flood shelters have also been kept in a state of preparedness.

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