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Centre Lauds Titli Efforts

Union Government has appreciated the efforts of the Odisha Government to face the Very Severe Cyclone “Titli”, thanks to its preparedness and target to achieve “Zero Causality”.


The Government of India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in its latest edition of its Newsletter of November-2018 has recorded appreciation of Team for Disaster Management in Odisha to handle Titli.

In fact Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik guided the Team led by Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi and other senior officials.

While Opposition raised hue and cry over alleged mismanagement in Titli, NDMA Chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its Monthly News Letter has appreciated the Odisha Efforts in this regard.

Aapda Samvaad, the Digital News Letter has said that during October 2018, two very severe cyclones were formed on the two sides of the Indian mainland - Luban in the Arabian Sea (7-13 October) and Titli in the Bay of Bengal (6-14 October).

The India Meteorological Department called one of the "Rarest of Rare" occurrences given the unique movement of both these cyclones.

While Titli changed its direction and moved towards the northeast after making a landfall at Gopalpur in Odisha, Luban took multiple recurvatures before making a landfall on the Gulf Coast.

Even as Titli continued to batter out coastline with strong winds speed touching close to 149 kmph, torrential rain and a metre high storm surge,a “Prepared Odisha Administration” was all set to dampen its spirits.

It had set for itself the target of 'Zero Casualty'. Around 3,00,000 people from low lying areas and kuchchha houses, especially in five coastal districts of Ganjam, Puri, Jagatasinghpur, Khurda and Kendrapara, were evacuated and brought to designated shelters.

Emergency services such as hospitals and power companies were put on alert. Schools, colleges and anganwadis were ordered to shut across the State for October 11 and 12.

At least eight trains were cancelled and the Khurda Road (Odisha) - Vizianagaram (Andhra Pradesh) section was closed for trains on the day of expected landfall. Fishermen were warned not to venture out to the sea.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were put on standby and armed forces alerted for providing immediate assistance, if needed.

The Government was also closely monitoring rainfall in Bansadhara and Rushikulya river basins in southern parts of the where the cyclone is likely to have more impact.
District Administrations were on high alert; control rooms were set up.

The Centre too was on its toes. Union Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on October 10 chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) to take stock of preparatory measures for the impending landfall of Titli.
 
The meeting was attended by senior officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Defence, NDMA, NDRF, India Meteorological Department (IMD) and Integrated Defence Staff (IDS).
 
It killed 93 people - 77 in Odisha, including those gone missing - Gajapati (52), Ganjam (19), Kandhamal (02), Keonjhar (01), Nayagarh (01), Angul (01) and Cuttack (01) and 16 in Andhra Pradesh - Srikakulam (14) and Vizianagaram (02).

It affected more than 60 lakh people in Odisha and more than 14 lakh in Andhra Pradesh.
 
Cyclone Titli damaged huts, tore tin roofs, fell trees, broke poles, battered vehicles, mangled electricity wires, blocked roads and scattered debris all over the place.
 
It also disrupted the communication networks, the supply of essentials such as bread and milk and led to long power cuts. Flights were either cancelled or re-routed.

“The story of Titli, however, does not lie in what it did. It lies in what it could not do.” said the New Letter.

“Despite its ferocity, the numbers of deaths were contained within two digits”, reported Apada Samvaad.

With the IMD accurately predicting its path and ferocity well in advance, a pro-active government machinery timely putting preparedness and mitigation measures in place, and the indefatigable spirit of the affected people, the State picked up their pieces and were up and running within a few days.
 
Due to effective strategies adopted during the preparatory phase, the State Government ensured unified action by multiple agencies and speedy mobilization of additional rescue teams, relief material and equipment, and restored normalcy within a short span of time


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