Communication, transport, power hit in Vizag

Communication, transport, power hit in Vizag

Hudhud strikes: Massive damage to property, infrastructure; relief forces mobilised

Communication, transport, power hit in Vizag

Gale winds from Cyclone Hudhud uprooted cell towers and disrupted electric lines Visakhapatnam on Sunday, throwing the residents into darkness.

Even the communication network at the Eastern Naval command collapsed.
Networks also failed in the neighbouring Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts.
By the time the cyclone crossed the coast, the operations at Visakhapatnam and Gangavaram ports were paralysed.

Hoardings and statues collapsed while hundreds of vehicles parked outside houses were damaged. Glass facades of commercial complexes shattered, allowing the gale to enter office premises and cause further damage.

High-rise apartment complexes developed cracks in Hanmanthuvaka as winds with a speed of 200 km unleashed destruction. As the day progressed, the Navy dispatched five diving teams to Srikakulam for rescue and relief operations.  The state government has averted a major human disaster by shifting around 1.5 lakh people from 356 villages in 59 mandals of the four districts to 300 relief camps.

As many as 19 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) teams were deployed in the Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts. Two columns of Army were kept ready at Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam with power boats and other equipment.  Six helicopters have been positioned in the naval base at Visakhapatnam with the Headquarters Training Command, Bangalore as its nodal agency.

Operations to monitor the cyclone were hit as water inundated the radar centre in Visakhapatnam, forcing the cyclone warning centre to disconnect the radar.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu told reporters here before leaving for Visakhapatnam that officials were relying on the Navy radar for information after the radar centre was damaged. “The Navy informed us that the eye of the cyclone has crossed and that the wind speed is 185 kmph,” he said.

With the Eastern and South Central Railways cancelling almost all the trains that pass through Eastern Coast via Vijayawada, the Railways made special arrangement for reservation and cancellation and refunds at alternative stations. 

The South Central Railway has announced cancellation of Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam special, Nanded-Visakhapatnam Express, Secunderabad-Bhubaneswar Visakha Express, the Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam Godavari Express, Secunderabad-Visakhapatnam Garibrath Express, Tirupati-Visakhapatnam Tirumala Express and Tirupati-Bhubaneswar Express. Around 51 trains were either diverted or partially diverted.

Schools and academic institutions will remain closed on Monday and Tuesday as rains and gales are expected to blow on Sunday. The one-day match between India and West India scheduled for Tuesday was cancelled.  As per the initial reports from the AP Secretariat, the total number of villages affected by the cyclone is 320 in 44 mandals of four districts, 1.32 lakh persons have been shifted to 223 relief camps and 155 medical camps have been set up in the affected areas.

Heavy rains accompanied by winds have uprooted several trees in Srikakulam district and rainwater from catchment areas in Odisha has inundated almost all coastal villages in the district. Trees also fell on revenue offices in Vizianagaram district.