Hudhud batters AP, Odisha coasts; 6 die

Hudhud batters AP, Odisha coasts; 6 die

4 lakh evacuated n Vizag worst hit n Wind speed weakens to 80-90 kmph

Hudhud batters AP, Odisha coasts; 6 die

Cyclone Hudhud pounded the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha with heavy rain and winds of almost 200 kmph on Sunday, leaving six people dead and a trail of devastation.

Visakhapatnam—where the very severe storm made landfall—bore the brunt.
A little over 4 lakh people—about 2.50 lakh in four districts of Andhra Pradesh and 1.56 lakh in nine districts of Odisha—were evacuated, and more will be shifted depending on water levels, officials said.

Cyclone Hudhud lost its intensity by late evening, its speed limited to 80-90 kmph, and it changed from a very severe cyclonic storm to severe storm, the IMD said on Sunday night.

The high-velocity winds battered the Visakhapatnam—home to a naval base, Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari districts, throwing normal life out of gear after the cyclone made landfall shortly before noon, downing power and communication lines and closing roads and railways.

The port city of Visakhapatnam has been without power supply since Saturday night, and communication systems have collapsed at many places.

As per preliminary assessment, the death toll was six—three each in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha—an official statement said in Delhi, adding that communication services and power and electricity have been “considerably damaged” in the affected districts.

The Odisha government, meanwhile, said there had been no major damage in the state so far, though some southern districts experienced winds at a speed of 70-80 km per hour.

However, Odisha Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra said: “Except the uprooting of trees and light posts in the Patangi area of Koraput district, we have not received reports of any major damage so far because of Hudhud. The cyclone is expected to bypass the Odisha border and cross over to neighbouring Chhattisgarh by 9:30-10 pm on Sunday. It will weaken by that time, with wind speeds of only around 50-60 km per hour, according to the met department.”

High-speed winds uprooted trees and blew away roofs of thatched huts and sheds as well as hoardings in Andhra Pradesh.

Transport services came to a halt in the region. Dozens of trains were either cancelled or diverted and flights in the region were also disrupted.

The Railways cancelled 58 trains and diverted 50 others on the Visakhapatnam route, officials said.

Andhra Pradesh’s Revenue (Disaster Management) Department said the cyclone left railway lines in Visakhapatnam badly damaged, besides causing “damage” to the airport there. A total of 2,48,004 people were “affected” by Hudhud, which also damaged 70 houses and left 34 animals dead, it said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh separately called Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and assured him of full assistance.

Naidu said the communication system had collapsed in the region and urged telecom service providers to restore it immediately.

Twenty-four National Disaster Response Force teams (each comprising 45-50 members) are on duty on the Andhra coast, including three on the way.

Six helicopters have been positioned in the Naval base here. Two Army columns are also stationed in Visakhapatnam and at Srikakulam with power boats and other equipment for rescue and relief operations.

In addition, 56 boats and launches have been deployed.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox