Severe cyclonic storm Hudhud with wind speed of 170-180 kmph made a landfall in this port city of Andhra Pradesh on Sunday triggering heavy downpour that left three persons dead in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts.
Strong winds and heavy rains triggered by the cyclone led to largescale destruction of power lines leading to outages in the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam.
In Delhi, IMD Director Laxman Singh Rathore said the centre of cyclone was crossing the Andhra Pradesh coast and wind speed was 170-180 kmph gusting up to 195 kmph.
He said the wind speed will come down by 50 per cent in the next six hours. The average sea wave surge was 1.5 meter and will vary from one to two meters in places as the cyclone crosses Vizag.
“The PMO is monitoring the situation arising out of the cyclone on an hourly basis,” he said, adding that helicopters will operate for relief and rescue measures in the Andhra coast region only tomorrow morning after slow-down of windspeed.
“Except East Godavari, power entirely failed in the three districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. There were gale winds. The situation is very severe. National Highway in the region has been shut,” Special Commissioner, State Disaster Management Authority, K Hymavathi said.
The heavy rains triggered by the cyclone left three persons dead.
“Three deaths have been reported due to the impact of Hudhud cyclone. Two died after trees fell on them and one in collapse of compound-wall in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts, respectively,” Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary I V R Krishna Rao said.
The authorities have evacuated 90,013 people across the four districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhaptnam and East Godavari.
Andhra Pradesh government has identified 356 villages in 59 mandals of the four districts as cyclone-prone. More than 300 relief camps have been opened.
Army columns are positioned at Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam with power boats and other equipment for rescue and relief. Six helicopters have been positioned in the Naval base at Visakhapatnam.
The Indian Air Force has tasked Headquarters Training Command, Bangalore to be the nodal agency for all relief operations in connection with severe cyclone Hudhud.
Telecom network also failed following which a control room in Visakhapatnam failed to operate, officials said.
In neighbouring Odisha, heavy rains coupled with high-speed wind lashed several parts of south Odisha where over 45,000 people have been evacuated from vulnerable areas to safety.
An estimated 45,000 people have so far been evacuated in eight districts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal and Kalahandi to ensure zero casualty, Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) P K Mohapatra said.
Under the influence of the cyclone, heavy rains pounded many parts of Malkangiri, Ganjam, Khurda, Gajapati, Puri and Rayagada districts, while strong surface wind swept several areas.
The state capital of Bhubaneswar also experienced rains since last night and the intensity of rain and wind flow is gradually gaining pace as Hudhud roared towards the coast. To deal with the calamity, as many 26 teams – 16 of NDRF and 10 teams of ODRF – have already been deployed in vulnerable places for rescue work, according to Chief Secretary G C Pati. Each team comprises 40 personnel.
“We have been assured by the Centre that army teams will be ready at Raipur in Chhattisgarh and 5 choppers at Kalaikunda in West Bengal for our call,” he said.
As a precautionary measure, East Coast Railways cancelled train services on Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatanam route, while the state government has stopped bus service in five districts like Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and parts of Kalahandi. The private bus operators have also been asked not to operate service on Monday.
“We have appealed to the public in the eight districts not to venture out of their houses during the landfall of the cyclone and six hours after that,” Mohapatra said, adding BSNL had been requested to send SMS to its users urging them not to venture out.
According to the latest IMD bulletin, rain and thundershowers would occur at most places in the state during the next 48 hours.
Similarly, heavy to very heavy rainfall in some places with extremely heavy rainfall is expected at one or two places in Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Nawarangpur, Ganjam, Gajpati, Kalahandi and Phulbani of South Odisha in the next 24 hours, said local IMD centre Director Sarat Sahu.
Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been forecast at one or two places in Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur, Nayagarh, Jajpur, Balasore, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Dhenkanal and Maurbhanj during the same period.
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