Hudhud to make landfall today

Lakhs shifted in Odisha, AP; wind speed may be 195 kmph

Hudhud to make landfall today

Lakhs of people were evacuated from the coasts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha as the states kept their nerves to face the landfall of “Hudhud” on Sunday morning, exactly a year after they successfully faced a more severe “Phailin”.

With winds gusting up to 195 kmph at the landfall, “Hudhud” is likely to damage old buildings, thatched houses and disrupt power and communication, besides hampering traffic on road, rail and air.

Elaborate arrangements are in place in both states, with the National Disaster Response Force deploying around 1,900 personnel armed with over 200 inflatable rubber boats and other life-saving equipment, the  Army and Air Force on standby along with the whole state administrations.

The Navy has readied 15 teams consisting of 60 divers at the Eastern Naval command, and the Army has sent 225 rescue specialists to Visakhapatnam.
Additional forces will be kept ready to assist in rescue operations at the INS Dega.

According to Eastern Naval Command, food and rescue material have been loaded onto “the INS Iravat”, “INS Sakthi”, “INS Shivalik” and “the INS Ranjit” and are waiting to reach the affected areas on the east coast.

On tenterhooks

Though they have the experience in handling cyclone Phailin successfully last year, state authorities are on tenterhooks this time, too, but they believe Hudhud is not severe as Phailin in its strength.

The “very severe” cyclone is likely to attain a speed of 195 kmph, the maximum predicted as of now, by 5:30 am on Sunday, which is less than the speed Phailin had (210-220 kmph) at the time of landfall.

At least two lakh people were evacuated from the vulnerable districts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha by Saturday eve­ning .

More people will be moved to safe localities later in the day. The Andhra Pradesh government has ordered the evacuation of over four lakh people to 370 relief camps in five north coastal districts. Odisha has also started the evacuation process.

Union Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said in New Delhi that there was no need to get “unduly alarmist” as he described the cyclone as “very severe” but “certainly not a super cyclone”. Cabinet Secretary Ajith Seth chaired a meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee to review preparations.

Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Vishakhapatnam and East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and two districts of Ganjam and Gajapatinagaram in Odisha will have the maximum impact, Singh said. Koraput, Malkangiri, Raigarh and Kalahandi are some of the other districts of Odisha, which are also likely to get affected.

In a study aimed at upgrading the hazard profile of Indian landmass with reference to cyclones, experts put Ganjam and Srikakulam districts as highly prone to cyclones.

The met department has predicted heavy to very heavy rainfall at a few places and extremely heavy falls over West and East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh and Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Raigarh, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Kalahandi and Phulbani of Odisha during the next 48 hours.
DH News Service

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