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Cyclone Titli makes landfall in Odisha, crosses coast

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Cyclone titli

Bhubaneswar, Oct 11: Very severe cyclonic storm Titli which is being referred to as a Category 2 hurricane, made landfall in Odisha’s Gopalpur on Thursday with surface winds reaching 126 kmph, the Met said. There has been no casualty yet.

Heavy rains were dumped in at least eight districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Bhadrak and Balasore as Titli with high-velocity winds crossed the south Odisha-north Andhra Pradesh coasts leaving behind uprooted trees and displacing three lakh people.

Gajapati district is the worst affected till now. Road communication from district headquarters to various parts like Mohana and Kashinagar was disrupted, said Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi.

Odisha’s Balasore received very heavy rainfall of 117 mm and Paradip recorded 111 mm of rains. Gopalpur, where the cyclone made its landfall, has so far received 97 mm of rain, and hefty showers were further expected over the region, said Skymet Weather.

Power supply and telephone lines were snapped in Ganjam, where wind gusted at 165 kmph uprooting trees, levelling houses disrupting road communication.

According to hourly coastal observations, Gopalpur reported surface wind speed of 126 kmph at 4.30 a.m., the IMD said. “Titli will completely cross the Odisha coast in two to three hours,” Bhubaneswar Meteorological Centre Director H.R. Biswas said.

The coastal alert has been put at 10 — the highest with fishermen prohibited from venturing into the sea for the next few days.

It crossed Palasa in Srikakulam district between 4.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m., said the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD).

Damages to houses with thatched and asbestos roofs and street lights were reported in Ganjam district. Road were blocked by falling of trees, said a government report.

About three lakh people were shifted from low-lying and vulnerable areas in Ganjam, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara and Khordha districts.

A total of 1,112 relief camps have been opened for the shelter of those evacuated.

The landfall process which continued for two to three hours till 8.30 a.m. to 9 a.m. with a wall cloud in the rear sector of the cyclone yet to enter completely into the land brought heavy rains in several parts of the state that may continue till Friday.

Odisha Chief Secretary Aditya Padhi announced that all schools, colleges and anganwadis would remain closed on Thursday and Friday.

Trees have been uprooted in large numbers in the coastal belt as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik set a mission “zero casualty” for the and directed district administration, police, fire service, and coastguard to closely monitor the situation and remain prepared with adequate relief materials.

A total of 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and nine Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) teams have been deployed at strategic locations.

The system is very likely to move northwestwards for next 12 hours and then re-curve northeastwards towards Gangetic West Bengal across Odisha, said Biswas.

IANS

Disaster

Tsunami alert on Pacific islands after 7.5-magnitude earthquake

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Earthquake

Noumea (New Caledonia), Dec 5: A 7.5 magnitude quake hit the coast of the Pacific island of New Caledonia, prompting warnings that tsunami waves of up to three metres can reach New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

The quake struck at a depth of about 10 kilometre at 4.18 GMT, the US Geological Survey reports. The epicentre was recorded as 168km east-south-east of Tadine, a town on France’s New Caledonia.

New Zealand’s Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management though tweeted that there was no tsunami threat to the nation’s coasts even though the tsunami alert issued for coasts within 1,000km, the BBC reported.

The USGS also recorded a series of aftershocks, two of them at 5.9 magnitude.

New Caledonia has a population of about 270,000 and is part of the Pacific’s “ring of fire”, where many earthquakes occur.

IANS

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Tremors felt in Uttarakhand

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Earthquake

Dehradun, Dec 4: A quake measuring 3 on the Richter scale was felt in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand early on Tuesday forcing residents to rush out of their houses, officials said.

The tremors were felt in the Barkot region for a few seconds at around 6.20 am. Its epicentre was in Yamunanagar in Haryana, District Disaster Management officer Devendra Patwal said.

IANS

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Disaster

7.0-magnitude quake damages roads in Alaska

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Earthquake

Anchorage, Dec 1: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck near Anchorage, Alaska, damaged roads, buildings and also triggered a temporary tsunami warning, authorities said.

The booming quake hit at about 8.30 a.m. on Friday, some 10 miles northeast of Anchorage, at a depth of 21 miles, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS reported dozens of aftershocks even after the tsunami warning was cancelled, reports CNN.

The largest, registering 5.7, was located in Anchorage. Seismologists predicted many more in the coming days and weeks.

“It was very loud when it came,” Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz said.

“It was very clear that this was something bigger than what we normally experience. We live in earthquake country so folks… But this was a big one.”

Social media and television news video depicted scenes of chaos, including students taking shelter under desks, roads buckling under passing cars, grocery store products tumbling from shelves, hospital workers scrambling for cover and panicked attorneys under tables as a courtroom rocked from side to side.

Despite the chaos, Anchorage authorities said on Friday night that no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

The White House said von Friday night that President Donald Trump had been briefed on the disaster and he has approved a federal disaster declaration for Alaska that authorises the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

IANS

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