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October 12, 2018

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Hundreds of thousands without power as ‘Titli’ slams eastern India

Hundreds of thousands without power as ‘Titli’ slams eastern India

BHUBANESWAR, India: A cyclone slammed into India’s eastern seaboard on Thursday, destroying huts, uprooting trees, snapping power lines and telephone poles, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Heavy winds were likely to cause a storm surge and officials said they expected low-lying areas in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to be inundated.

Tropical cyclone "Titli," with gusts of up to 165 kph (100 mph), made landfall in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh in the early hours, the India Meteorological Department said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths, but the storm wreaked havoc on infrastructure, blocking roads and hampering emergency work. "We fear 6,000-7,000 electricity poles may have been uprooted," K. Dhananjaya Reddy, district administrative chief of Srikakulam, told Reuters.

"Around 400,000 to 500,000 people are now without electricity." "TV footage showed tin roofs of several houses being blown away." The storm has caused heavy to very heavy rainfall in some districts of Odisha, damage to houses, street lights and roadblocks due to fallen trees, said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

"We are still assessing the damage and roadblocks are being cleared." The Bay of Bengal often witnesses cyclones at this time of year, with some causing widespread death and destruction. Odisha was hit last month by a low-intensity storm.

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