AP, Odisha govts brace for Hudhud cyclone

AP, Odisha govts brace for Hudhud cyclone

Nearing nightmare: Chandrababu Naidu seeks satellite images to aid in rescue work

AP, Odisha govts brace for Hudhud cyclone

As cyclone “Hudhud” is set to hit Visakhapatnam on Sunday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has requested the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Centre to provide satellite images of the area to help rescue and restoration work.

Neighbouring Odisha too is in a state of preparedness.

The chief minister, in a special address on TV channels, has also requested the people to obey official orders and shift to safe places.

According to latest observations, “Hudhud” moved towards southeast of Visakhapatnam and southeast of Gopalpur. It is expected to gather momentum, move northwestwards and cross north Andhra Pradesh coast around Visakhapatnam by Sunday noon. 

The Met office has predicted that rainfall will occur over Krishna, Guntur and Prakasham districts in Andhra Pradesh and north coastal Odisha during the same period.

Squally winds with speed of 50-60 kmph began hitting Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts on Saturday. With sea water gushing on the seaside roads near Kakinada, the government has decided to shut down the Itchapuram-Rajahmundry road till further notice.

It can be used only for emergency services. Sea water has inundated the beaches in Nakkapalli mandal of Visakhapatnam with rain lashing Srikakulam district, prompting the district collector to declare holiday for all educational institutions in the district.

The South Central Railway has cancelled 27 express and 10 passenger trains and diverted 31 other services keeping in view the intensity of the cyclone till further notice.

In Odisha, Chief Secretary G C Pati said 16 units of the National Disaster Response Force and 10 units of the Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force were already stationed in different districts to assist the local administration and other government agencies.  

“We are fully geared up to handle the cyclone and possible floods,” said Pati.
Quoting information from the India Meteorological Department, the top bureaucrat said wind speeds during the cyclone’s landfall near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh as well as in the possible impact areas in neighbouring Odisha would be more than what was calculated earlier. “The wind speed in Visakhapatnam will be 170-190 kmph. In Odisha, the speed of wind may reach up to 100 kmph,” he said.

Sarat Chandra Sahu, the director of the IMD’s local office in Bhubaneswar, did not rule out the possibility of the wind speed going up to 120 kmph in some southern districts neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said they would appeal to people in the five districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Raigarh and Malkangiri not to venture out on Sunday.  “The cyclone would remain intensely active for nearly six hours after landfall. Therefore, we would be alerting the people in these five districts not to venture out and remain in their houses on Sunday,” the SRC said.