The Andhra Pradesh government is making efforts to prevent loss of life as well as aiming to provide quick relief to people affected by the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Hudhud’ that battered the coastal districts, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Sunday.
The MET department has said that the cyclone will weaken over the next six hours. AP CM Chandrababu Naidu is heading to Vizag where he will monitor the situation from ground for the next 2-3 days. Naidu has told that the storm has caused significant damage to property and agricultural land. He has advised people to remain indoors and also thanked the Centre for aid.
Naidu has also appealed to the Centre to declare the situation a national calamity.
Thirteen NDRF teams have been placed in Visakhapatnam along with two additional army columns, that are being moved to the district. In Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said that over 67,000 people have been evacuated on Sunday.
The Centre is extending all help possible to the two affected states. Union minister Jitendra Singh said, “We should avoid being alarmist, the government of India is in constant touch with the government of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. All kinds of eventualities will be dealt with appropriately. Authorities have been in action for the last several days based on the forecast by IMD and the Department of Earth Sciences. They had predicted the cyclone 5-6 days earlier so there was enough time to prepare the departments. 30-40 NDRF teams along with the Army and the Navy have their teams ready.”
CM Chandrababu Naidu is planning to go to Visakhapatnam, if possible, or at least till Rajahmundry in the neighbouring East Godavari district to oversee the relief operations.
“The situation is extremely serious. The windspeed has escalated to nearly 190 kmph. We are unable to estimate the damage. 70 per cent of telephone towers have been damaged. The cyclone’s fury is likely to continue for the next three-four hours. The city of Vishakhapatnam is the worst affected. I have spoken to the Prime Minister and the government is closely monitoring the situation. I am very grateful to the government of India for assuring us all possible help. As of now, I am writing a letter to the Center to declare it as national calamity. We trying to get in touch with people and warn them about the danger of venturing outside through radio and sms.”
The cyclone with gusty winds and downpour has caused damages to paddy, coconut and cashew-nut crops in the affected districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, he said.