Cyclone hudhud trashes Vishakapatnam

CyclonehuhhudVISAKHAPATNAM: As cyclone Hudhud weakened moving north-westwards, Andhra Pradesh was on Monday grappling with its aftermath following extensive damage to infrastructure and many losing their houses in the three worst affected districts which were facing shortage of essential commodities.

An alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall has been sounded in districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram and in some parts of Odisha where the cyclone, which has claimed eight lives so far, had moved before heading to Chhattisgarh.

Over 2.48 lakh people in 320 villages of 44 mandals (blocks) have been affected by the cyclone in Andhra Pradesh. As many as 1,35,262 persons have been evacuated and accommodated in 223 relief camps.

It was a picture of destruction in Visakhapatnam, which bore the brunt of the cyclone fury, with hundreds of fallen trees, poles and other rubble blocking the roads as winds of almost 200 kmph tore away roofs and hoardings in the city, where the cyclone made landfall on Sunday.

“There is no power, no water or milk, no electricity. We are not getting petrol. We cannot move on the roads. It is difficult to survive a single day here,” said a harried resident.

The cyclone has snapped water and power supply and communication links have collapsed in the affected areas. Most of the petrol pumps were closed due to the damage caused by the cyclone and those which had opened today, saw people queueing up in large numbers.

The airport and railway lines in the city were badly  damaged in the heavy downpour and gusty winds.

The state government has started the tedious exercise of assessing damage and losses with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu directing Hyderabad-headquartered National Remote Sensing Centre to use geo-tagging to put the data on damage on the map.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Visakhapatnam on Tuesday to take stock of the situation while Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu’s Cabinet is expected to be in the city as the government focuses on bringing life back to normal in the affected districts.

According to the State’s Revenue (Disaster Management) Department, five persons were killed in the incidents of wall and roof collapses and uprooting of trees in the region.

The deceased included one-year-old P Naga Manoj here. According to Met department, Hudhud lay centred very close to south Chhattisgarh and adjoining southwest Odisha.

It would move north-northwestwards and weaken gradually. In Odisha, where three persons were killed, the state government braced for relief and rehabilitation in the affected southern districts where its damaged houses and uprooted trees and poles. – From Press Trust of India

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