Highlights: Cyclone Hudhud lashes Andhra Pradeshhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/operation-hudhud-nearly-5-5-lakh-people-evacuated-heavy-rainfall-expected-in-andhra-odisha/

Highlights: Cyclone Hudhud lashes Andhra Pradesh

Winds are blowing at 120-130 kmph, as informed by IMD.

People run for shelter as heavy rain and wind gusts rip through the Bay of Bengal coast at Gopalpur, Orissa, about 285 kilometers (178 miles) north east of Visakhapatnam, India, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (Source: AP)
People run for shelter as heavy rain and wind gusts rip through the Bay of Bengal coast at Gopalpur, Orissa, about 285 kilometers (178 miles) north east of Visakhapatnam, India, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (Source: AP)

Cyclone Hudhud has made landfall near Visakhapatnam on Sunday, the state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa carried out a massive evacuation exercise on Saturday. The cyclone hit Vizag at 180 kmph and is set to intensify in the next four to five hours, said Indian Navy.

View picture gallery: Cyclone Hudhud: Seaside villagers get vigilant, evacuate places 

#N Chandrababu Naidu asked the Centre to declare the very severe cyclone storm ‘Hudhud’ that hit the state’s coast as a national calamity and also sought an ad hoc relief package of Rs 2,000 crore. Read full story here

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# According to Andhra Pradesh’s Revenue (Disaster Management) Department, a total of 2,48,004 people were affected by Hudhud, which also damaged 70 houses and left 34 animals dead.

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#Hudhud, which was so far a very severe cyclonic storm has now converted into a severe cyclone. Its speed is now limited to 100-110 kmph, said M Mahapatra, scientist at the Cyclone Warning Division of IMD.

#Naidu is seeking to leverage modern communication technology through “crowd sourcing” to provide relief to the victims of cyclonic storm ‘Hudhud’ that struck coastal Andhra.

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A damaged house after cyclone Hudhud hits at Konapapapeta village beach in East Godavari District of Andhra Pradesh. (Source: PTI)

# ‘Hudhud’ has also disrupted services of the centre for giving information on cyclones in Visakhapatnam. “Communication network has collapsed to some extent. We lacked access to the Visakhapatnam radar centre at the last minute. It got disconnected. A navy radar is there. We tried to access through that navy radar. They could send some messages. They told us when it crossed. It takes four-five hours for the cyclone to cross,” said Andhra CM.

# Cyclone Hudhud had little impact in West Bengal, at most scattered rainfall in parts of the state. The coastal districts of the state which the MeT department had predicted would experience rainfall had no or little rain.

ALSO READ: PM Modi assures Andhra Pradesh CM of all support as Hudhud strikes

Eyewitness account: The bus started shaking so violently that the driver of a truck parked on the opposite direction asked the driver to park it close beside his truck so it doesn’t tip over.

# Cyclone Hudhud loses speed; winds now blowing at 120-130 kmph: IMD

# Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa informed that nearly 90,000 people have been shifted to relief camps in four cyclone Hudhud-hit districts. Read full story here

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Volunteers serve food to the villagers at a shelter house in Gopalpur as Cyclone Hudhud hits Ganjam District on Sunday. (Source: PTI)

 

# In Delhi, IMD Director General Laxman Singh Rathore said that “Due to the hilly topography, the cyclone’s intensity will reduce in next six hours and further reduce in next 12 hours. However, the area (Vizag) will experience heavy to very heavy rainfall for the next three days.”

READ: Cyclone Hudhud makes landfall in Visakhapatnam coast, three killed

# Casualty in cyclone Hudhud rose to two in Odisha with a fresh death reported from Puri today.

# “The next few hours will spell our course of action. All our teams are in their designated locations and a number of them are on task or are mobile,” said IMD chief.

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A child sits inside a plastic bucket near his house on the Bay of Bengal coast at Gopalpur, Orissa. (Source: AP)

# IMD Chief Laxman Singh Rathore said the centre of cyclone is now crossing the Andhra Pradesh coast and the time, place and speed of Hudhud cycle is as per forecast. NDRF has rushed a total of 13 teams to Vishakhapatnam today.

# Cyclone wind speed 170-180 kmph gusting up to 195 kmph in Andhra Pradesh coast, but wind speed will come down by 50 per cent in 6 hours, said Rathore. He further added that the PMO is monitoring situation arising out of the cyclone on an hourly basis.

(Source: Nation remote Sensing Centre)
(Source: Nation remote Sensing Centre)

ALSO READ: Two killed as cyclone Hudhud makes landfall in coastal Andhra Pradesh

# Two people are reportedly killed in rain-related incidents in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts under influence of severe cyclonic storm Hudhud, said Andhra Pradesh government.

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Sudarsan Pattnaik made a sand sculpture on cyclone Hudhud at a beach in Puri on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

# One person was killed when the compound wall of a building collapsed in Visakhaptnam district. Another person died in Srikakulam district when a tree collapsed following pounding rains, according to state disaster management department.

# Power supply is also affected in the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.

READ: Cyclone Hudhud: Seaside villagers more cautious this time in Odisha

# “Except East Godavari, power entirely failed in the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam (which are expected to bear the brunt). There were gale winds. The situation is very severe. National Highway in the region has been shut,” said Special Commissioner, State Disaster Management Authority, K Hymavathi.

 

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the cyclone was likely to remain in a “very severe” condition till at least six hours after landfall, before gradually weakening to “severe” condition over the subsequent six hours as it moves northwestwards across south interior Orissa and Chhattisgarh. During this time, rainfall is expected at most places in south Chhattisgarh, Telangana and south Orissa, with some places likely to get heavy to very heavy rains.

The wind speed is likely to remain in the range of 100-120 kmph, even going up to 130 kmph, in the six hours after hitting the coast. It is likely to go down to about 80-90 kmph over the next six hours, the IMD said.

READ: Everything you need to know about Cyclone Hudhud

The IMD has asked the state governments to suspend all fishing operations in the area of influence of the cyclone. It has recommended extensive evacuation from coastal areas of north Andhra Pradesh, from the districts of East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. It has advised people in south Andhra Pradesh and south Orissa to remain in safe places.

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The IMD has warned that the sea condition along the coast of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa is likely to be very rough till Sunday and a storm surge of about 1-2 metres could inundate low-lying areas of coastal Andhra Pradesh.

In Andhra Pradesh, nearly 2.75 lakh people from the four districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari were evacuated to about 400 cyclone shelters. About 1.90 lakh people were evacuated from Srikakulam district alone, where the maximum number of people live close to the shore. Heavy rainfall is expected in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, besides East and West Godavari districts.

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Hundreds of government officials, police officials and homeguards fanned out across the coastal villages and started evacuating people in trucks and buses requisitioned by the district administrations. Even people living in “pucca” houses were asked to leave for the shelters.

The Andhra Pradesh government has asked all government employees to remain on duty over the weekend. In Visakhapatnam, the administration has opened 175 shelters and moved close to 40,000 people from the coastal villages. In Srikakulam, people of 250 villages in 11 mandals which may be affected have been evacuated. In Vizianagaram, at least 15,000 people have been evacuated, according to Collector M Naik.

ALSO READ: Precautionary steps taken to minimise Cyclone Hudhud impact

Joint Secretary Arvind Kumar, Officer on Special Duty for Relief, said people were reluctant to leave behind their belongings as they claimed there was no security. “But the district administration and police will ensure that there is no theft or any untoward incident in the villages while they are at the shelters,’’ he said.

“The cyclone may move north, so we are evacuating all those living in the coastal village as a precautionary measure,’’ said Collector Gaurav Uppal.

While human casualties are not expected due to the massive evacuation, power and telecommunication lines will be uprooted, leading to widespread disruption. A warning has been issued that flooding and uprooted trees will cut off escape routes, national and state highways and traffic is being regulated to ensure that nobody is caught in the flash floods caused by heavy rainfall.

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The Odisha government too planned to evacuate around 4 lakh people in the five southern districts of the state that come within the arc of the storm.

Like during last year’s Phailin cyclone, the Odisha government has set itself a target of zero casualty for Hudhud. In view of the cyclone, the East Coast Railways cancelled 35 trains that would be originating or passing through Visakhapatnam for the next two days. Similarly, 31 trains that were to pass though Visakhapatnam section would be diverted to different routes for the next two days. Meanwhile, the armed forces too were getting ready for disaster relief operations.

ALSO READ:  Odisha begins evacuation, two flights, 39 trains cancelled

Dry rations, drinking water, milk and other essential commodities for three days have been stored at the shelters. Generators, inflatable boats, and rescue equipment have also been kept on stand-by. Officials said NDRF teams have been strategically stationed along the coast, to be deployed wherever they are required. All trains passing through the districts which are likely to be affected as well as all flights to Visakhapatnam have been cancelled.

In Orissa, officials said they were more worried about the possibility of a flood. “The Met department has not changed the forecast for Hudhud in Orissa where average windspeed is not expected to exceed 100 kmph after it makes landfall. The district collectors are ready with their plans to evacute about four lakh people, but the exercise hasn’t started in most places. We don’t want to create unnecessary panic… But more than wind speed, we are worried about a flood,” said Special Relief Commissioner P K Mohapatra.

ALSO READPM Modi holds emergency meeting to review preparedness for Hudhud 

The five districts that are likely to be affected are Malkangiri, Gajapati, Koraput, Rayagada and Ganjam, where rainfall could exceed around 250 mm in 48 hours. Apart from south Orissa, officials are also worried heavy rainfall in the upper catchment areas of Mahanadi river in neighbouring Chhattisgarh. The state government on Saturday opened 15 sluice gates of Hirakud dam, which regulate the flow of Mahanadi water in Sambalpur.

In Malkangiri district, about 8,000 people were evacuated by evening. Efforts to evacuate some of the areas bordering Andhra Pradesh were hampered due to adequate number of pucca houses in the region. Moreover, some of the villages are reported to be Maoist strongholds. “There is lot of movement of Maoists in the cut-off areas these days. I don’t know how freely the district officials can move around,” said a police official.

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In Koraput, about 500 people had been evacated to safe shelters in Maoist-affected Narayanpatna block by afternoon. Distrct Collector Yamini Sarangi said four blocks — Pottangi, Nandapur, Lamtaput and Boipariguda — were expected to be affected. “A nodal officer has been appointed in each block to monitor the situation,” she said.

In Ganjam and Rayagada districts, evacuation had not started till Saturday evening, though the Ganjam administration planned to shift about 1.5 lakh people to shelters on Sunday. Meanwhile, two persons were reported missing after a rescue boat capsized in Khola river in Rajnagar area of Odisha’s Kendrapara district.

Officials said the cyclone may damage power and communication lines in south Orissa districts of Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada,Koraput and Malkangiri. “Even after landfall, the system would maintain the intensity of a very severe cyclonic storm for six hours and gradually weaken into a cyclonic storm while moving northwestwards across south interior Orissa and Chattisgarh,” said an official in the Met office in Bhubaneswar.

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In Chhattisgarh, the government issued an alert in areas bordering Orissa. Disaster management committees have been set up in the southern districts of Sukma, Narayanpur and Bastar. These areas recorded sporadic rainfall on Saturday, even as temperature showed a decrease in mainland Chhattisgarh. Officials have predicted heavy rainfall over the next few days.

(With ENS inputs, New Delhi, Raipur)