Cyclone Hudhud: AP stays on alert, focuses on restoration

Hyderabad: A day after a very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud battered the Andhra coast with heavy rains leaving five persons dead, the state government is investing its energy and resources on restoration and relief works even as it remained on alert in view of heavy rainfall warning.

Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu's Cabinet is expected to be in Visakhapatnam as the Government focuses on bringing life back to normal in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram which bore the brunt of the cyclonic fury.

According to the State's Revenue (Disaster Management) Department, five persons were killed in the incidents of wall and roof collapses and uprooting of trees in the region, which was pounded by rains and gale winds at speeds ranging from 170 to 180 kmph yesterday. The deceased included one-year-old P Naga Manoj from the port city of Visakhapatnam.

This October 12, 2014, satellite image from NASA shows Cyclone Hudhud over India. Pic/AFP

Railway line was badly damaged in Visakhapatnam, where the airport was also affected as heavy downpour and gusty winds downed hundreds of electric poles, trees and hoardings and blew away light-weight objects and vulnerable roof-tops. Latest weather bulletin said Hudhud lay centred very close to south Chhattisgarh and adjoining southwest Odisha. It would move north-northwestwards and weaken gradually.

Under the influence of the system, rainfall at most places with heavy (6.5¿12.4 cm) to very heavy (12.5¿24.4 cm) at a few places would occur over Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam districts of north Andhra Pradesh besides some districts of south Odisha during the next 24 hours. The government said that district officials, heads of departments and every government employee would be on field for relief, restoration and rehabilitation works.

The Chief Minister has directed Hyderabad-headquartered National Remote Sensing Centre to use GIS, GPS and remote sensing technologies to spot the damage and put them on the satellite through geo-tagging. This would enable the government to have the data on damages on the map.

He added that photographs of crop loss, damaged roads, bridges, reservoirs, tanks and railway lines would be made available through satellite technology by Indian Space Research Organisation. "The government was able to reduce loss of life due to the precautionary measures taken," Naidu said and directed officials to take up restoration work on a war-footing from today.

The state government has issued an order deputing senior officers to supervise rescue, relief and rehabilitation measures and coordinate with Commissioner (Disaster Management), NDMA and NDRF and other authorities. The government said 2,48,004 people in 320 villages of 44 mandals (blocks) have been affected by the cyclone. As many as 1,35,262 persons have been evacuated and accommodated in 223 relief camps.

As per initial estimates, 70 houses were damaged and loss of animals was put at 34. Officials reported huge damages to railway and power sector in Visakhapatnam.

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