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Hudhud: Andhra, Odisha grapple with aftermath, PM to visita

High tide in Visakhapatnam

High tide in VisakhapatnamVisakhapatnam/Bhubaneshwar:Andhra Pradesh and Odisha were today grappling with the aftermath of cyclone Hudhud which has left tens of thousands homeless and badly battered infrastructure in nearly a dozen districts, including port city Visakhapatnam which resembled a war zone.

The cyclone, which has claimed eight lives and forced over seven lakh people to take shelter in camps, had moved from coastal Andhra Pradesh to Odisha, where it damaged about 50,000 thatched houses, power network and roads, before heading to Chhattisgarh and weakening into a “deep depression”

Besides Visakhapatnam, the other north coastal Andhra districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and East Godavari have suffered widespread damage. Odisha’s Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri and Rayagada were the worst affected out of the eight districts hit by the cyclone.

The Centre is keeping a close watch on the situation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that he will visit Visakhapatnam tomorrow while Home Minister Rajnath Singh today spoke to Chief Ministers of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which are likely to be lashed by heavy rains in the wake of the cyclone.

An alert for heavy to very heavy rainfall has also been sounded in the four north coastal districts Andhra districts and in several parts of Odisha.

Gusty winds and heavy rains have ravaged the picturesque port city of Visakhapatnam, where the cyclone made landfall yesterday, with uprooted trees, knocked down cell towers  transformers, hoardings and telephone poles blocking roads.

The Visakhapatnam airport also bore the brunt of the cyclone fury with the roof over a portion being blown away due to the gales.

Communication systems and electricity supply have snapped in the city since Saturday night and people at many places depended on the radio to know the cyclone updates.

People in the port city, who were confined to their homes since Saturday night, ventured out today after rains stopped.

“There is no power, no water or food. We are not getting petrol. We cannot move on the roads. It is difficult tosurvive a single day here,” said a resident.

Most of the petrol pumps were closed due to the damage caused by the cyclone and those which had opened today, saw people queueing up in large numbers. Residents complained that vegetables and other food items were in short supply and their prices have shot up.

Authorities have begun efforts to remove the debris and to restore normalcy in Visakhapatnam.

Andra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has decided to camp in Visakhapatnam to oversee the relief operations, said in Rajahmundry that the government’s priority is to restore access to affected villages, establish communication networks and take care of those provided shelter.

Naidu undertook an aerial survey of the affected areastoday.


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