The picturesque port town of Visakhapatnam, a major industrial, educational and tourism hub in the east coast, is still reeling under the impact of havoc caused by the cyclonic storm Hudhud and is picking up pieces from a trail of destruction left behind by the calamity.
Under the impact of Hudhud that made a landfall here yesterday, accompanied by gusty winds and heavy rains, the city looks like a war-ravaged zone with uprooted trees, knocked down cell towers, transformers, and telephone poles lying strewn at several places.
Communication systems and electricity broke down in the city since Saturday night and people at many a places are falling back on radio to know the updates about the cyclone.
Hudhud did not spare Visakhapatnam airport either blowing away its roof in gales. Lights and boards in the facility are either knocked down on ground or swept away.
“We were scared. We closed windows but the sound of winds itself was scary,” a woman resident said.
The flood water has entered residential and apartment complexes at some places and it needs to be pumped out now.
“Visakhapatnam is a place I like very much. But, it is painful to see the city this way today,” said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who is camping in the city to oversee relief operations.
The residents of the port city, who were confined to their homes, ventured out today with dry weather prevailing after Hudhud tapered off into a deep depression over south Chhattisgarh and its neighbourhood as per the IMD bulletin issued this morning.
Long queues were witnessed at petrol pumps and citizens sought to buy essential food items like milk.
The National Highway 5 (Kolkata-Chennai) was shut as a precautionary measure and uprooted trees and electric poles disrupted the flow of traffic in the city.
With rescue workers, including NDRF personnel, clearing the way, traffic movement revived this afternoon.
Naidu, who undertook an aerial survey of the city today and later held a review with officials, said he would stay put till confidence is instilled among citizens that they can get on with their normal routine.