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Cyclone Hudhud brings Vizag, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram to a standstill

M Somasekhar Ch R S Sarma Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on October 12, 2014

A motorist braves through the heavy wind and rain at the Beach Road as the Very Severe Cyclonic storm ‘Hudhud passes over Visakhapatnam on Sunday. Photo: K.R. Deepak

Winds touching over 100 mph and heavy rains are lashing several places in the districts, causing huge hardship. Photo: P V Sivakumar   -  PV Sivakumar

Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) 13-10-2014: Cars standard due to tree collapsed due to heavy gales generated bycyclone_hudhud_ in Visakhapatnam on Sunday while the crossing the coast in Visakhapatnam ----photo: C_V_SUBRAHMANYAM

The first wave of the severity of the 'Hudhud' cyclone is unfolding in the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. Heavy gales, rains and high waves have brought the districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam, and Vizianagaram to a standstill, while the Godavari districts are also facing the impact.

Meteorology department reports indicate that the cyclone is expected to cross the coast from Visakhapatnam in a couple of hours. Heavy rains and flooding is already playing havoc near Bhimli and Srikakulam district, where the river Nagavali and canals are overflowing.

Telecommunications have been severely affected even in Visakhapatnam, where all activity has come to a grinding halt. Being a Sunday, all business establishments are closed .The State administration, which has been on a high alert and put in place elaborate measures, has swung into action.

Hudhud causes havoc in Vizag

Cyclonic storm Hudhud on Sunday morning and afternoon played havoc with normal life in Visakhapatnam city. As it approached the coast, rains and high-speed gales lashed the city from early morning (5 a.m. onwards) and there was no respite. Each street was a mess, with uprooted trees, dangling electric wires, signboards torn apart, and other debris. Still a few brave souls ventured onto the streets, and a few two-wheelers and cars could be seen on the roads.

There were wall collapses at a few places and the loading and unloading activities in Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram ports were affected. Work at the Visakhapatnam steel plant and other public sector units such as the BHEL unit (erstwhile BHPV now merged in BHEL) was also badly affected.

Authorities evacuated people from the vulnerable coastal villages in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari district in a bid to minimise the loss of life. Power and communications systems in Visakhapatnam and neighbouring districts were disrupted due to the cyclonic fury.

Functioning of the Kakinada old port as well as the new port was also affected due to the cyclone. The NDRF teams were deployed to rescue the people in the affected areas and the Navy and the Coast Guard deployed their vessels and personnel in the rescue and relief efforts.

Relief operations

In addition to half-a-dozen helicopters on standby at the airport, more than a dozen units of the National Disaster Relief Force have got into relief operations. More than 15 tonnes of relief material for specialised operation were rushed to Vizag and other districts yesterday night itself with 120 members of NDRF.

Winds touching over 100 mph and heavy rains are lashing several places in the districts, causing huge hardship. Rain water and gushing sea waters under the influence of the cyclone hold out the biggest threat to fishermen, and residents of the coasts. The administration has already moved a couple of lakhs of people to the cyclone shelters and safer places. It has transported food and medical supplies and rescue teams.

Threat warnings

All the major ports, Visakhapatnam, Gangavaram, Kalingapatnam, Kakinada etc., have issued highest threat warnings and put in place their disaster management strategies to face the situation. The South Central Railway has cancelled 46 trains and diverted another 30 as a precautionary measure and to ease the traffic pressure. The national highways are closed and state roads have worn a deserted look for the past 12 hours.

Given the experience in facing the Phailin cyclone, that coincidentally struck Andhra Pradesh and Orissa during the same days last year, the present N Chandrababu Naidu and Naveen Patnaik Government's in both the states have been coordinating well to meet the challenges.

The India Meteorological Department has been continuously issuing bulletins about the movement of the cyclone and issuing warnings. Weather experts from the National Aeronautical Space Agency (NASA) have also been putting out important information that is helping the State administration to take suitable steps.

Published on October 12, 2014
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