Cyclone Titli downgraded to deep depression as it heads for West Bengal; Mamata Banerjee hopes for peaceful Durga Puja

Very severe Cyclonic Storm Titli, that claimed eight lives in Andhra Pradesh on Thursday, has weakened into a deep depression by Friday morning.

According to the India Meteorological Department's update, the deep depression over Odisha moved east-northeastwards in past six hours with a speed of 8 kilometre per hour, and lay centred over Odisha near latitude 20.4°N and longitude 84.6°E, 30 kilometres northeast of Phulbani and 70 kilometres southwest of Angul on Friday morning. It is very likely to move northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal and weaken into a depression during next 12 hours.

Cyclone Titli downgraded to deep depression as it heads for West Bengal; Mamata Banerjee hopes for peaceful Durga Puja

The Cyclonic storm Titli dissolved into a deep depression Friday morning. IMD

The weather department downgraded the Thursday's red alert to a yellow warning for Odisha and Gangetic West Bengal. Other states which were on a yellow alert included Mizoram, Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya.

However, the IMD warned fishermen against venturing into the Bay of Bengal for fishing owing to the rough sailing conditions.

Meanwhile, the state of West Bengal, which is currently preparing for the Durga Puja festival, heaved a sigh of relief. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said the gradual weakening of the cyclone was a relief that "puja days will pass well".

"It is a sort of relief that cyclone Titli has gradually become weak after hitting Andhra Pradesh. There was a looming danger due to this," Banerjee said while inaugurating a Durga Puja marquee at Chakraberia in south Kolkata's Bhawanipore.

She further said that the weathermen have predicted rainfall for the next two days but everyone is aware of nature's unpredictability. "Therefore, people will have to keep the faith that the puja days would pass well."

Cyclone Titli made landfall on the eastern coast early on Thursday, wreaking havoc mainly in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha's Gajapati and Ganjam districts.  The Andhra Pradesh State Disaster Management Authority said the cyclone caused widespread damage in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, and threw normal life out of gear as heavy to very heavy rains lashed the two north coastal districts since late Wednesday night. While a 62-year-old woman died at Gudivada Agraharam village after a tree fell on her, a 55-year-old man died in a house collapse at Rotanasa village in Srikakulam, the SDMA said.

The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's Office said the other six killed were fishermen who had ventured into the sea.

The IMD has forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall at some places in Gajapati, Ganjam, Puri, Rayagada, Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Boudh, Bolangir, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Khurda, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Jajpur, Dhenkanal, Angul, Bhadrak, Balasore districts till Friday.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Oct 12, 2018 11:50:30 IST

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