Severe cyclonic storm Hudhud hit the port city of Vishakapatnam on Sunday bringing with it torrential rains in three coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and leaving five persons dead in the state and neighbouring Odisha besides snapping power and communication lines.
Normal life was thrown completely out of gear as winds with a speed of 170 to 180 kmph battered Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. The very severe cyclonic storm made landfall in Visakhapatnam before noon.
The gale, accompanied by heavy downpour, resulted in trees being uprooted and roofs of thatched huts and sheds being swept away. While authorities in Andhra Pradesh evacuated 90,013 people across the four districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhaptnam and East Godavari, about 68,000 people were evacuated from coastal districts of Odisha.
In Delhi, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said that “Due to the hilly topography, the cyclone’s intensity will reduce in next six hours and further reduce in next 12 hours. However, the area (Vizag) will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next three days.”
As the storm progresses, it will bring heavy rainfall to very heavy rainfall in Chhatisgarh, Bihar, East Madhya Pradesh and East UP and Gangetic belt of West Bengal. “We are in touch with the chief secretaries of these state governments and providing with bulletins. Warnings have also been issued to shift crops which have been harvested to minimise the impact of heavy rains in these areas,” Rathore said.
Aircraft services will be able to operate from Monday morning as the weather is expected to improve. “The PMO is monitoring the situation arising out of the cyclone at regular intervals,” he said. While three persons were killed in rain-related incidents in Andhra Pradesh, two were killed in Odisha.
“Three deaths have been reported due to impact of Hudhud. Two died after trees fell on them and one in collapse of compound-wall in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts, respectively,” AP Chief Secretary IVR Krishna Rao said. Casualty in cyclone Hudhud rose to two in Odisha.
A fisherman was caught in the sea current amid a tidal surge while he was trying to save his fishing boat anchored in the coast of Puri, Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra said. On Saturday, a nine-year-old girl drowned when a boat engaged in evacuation of the people in Satbhaya area of Kendrapara district capsized in the Baunsagadi rivulet.
Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Kumar Seth said the Prime Minister was concerned not only about AP and Odisha but also wanted other states, which could face heavy rains minus the cyclone, to be alerted.