Cyclone Phailin leaves behind trail of destruction in Srikakulam

Oct 13, 2013, 10:53 IST | IANS

Cyclonic storm Phailin, which crossed the south Odisha coast Saturday night, caused widespread devastation in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, which continued to receive heavy rain Sunday

The cyclone, which brought heavy rain and strong winds with speed reaching up to 200 km an hour, left a trail of destruction in the district bordering Odisha. However, there were no immediate reports of any loss of life.

The district remained without electricity Sunday as a number of electricity towers were toppled by the strong winds. Communication towers were also damaged in large numbers while fallen trees on the roads cut off access to many towns and villages. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the national highway connecting Srikakulam to Odisha.

Coconut trees standing on hundreds of acres of land were uprooted while other crops were also damaged. Officials said a clear picture of the exact extent of damage would emerge only after the rain recedes.

Cyclone Phailin
Villagers try to cover themselves from the heavy rainfall and strong winds as they ride a pickup truck in Srikakulam district. India evacuated nearly half a million people as the massive cyclone Phailin went about uprooting trees and tearing into homes. Pic/AFP

People, who spent a sleepless night Saturday, have been advised to remain indoors to safeguard themselves from the after-impact of the cyclone.

Roads and railway lines were damaged due to the very severe cyclone, whose intensity has now come down. According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the system lay centred near Phulbani in Odisha. It would move northwards and weaken gradually into a cyclonic storm by noon and into a deep depression by Sunday evening.

Authorities have not ruled out flood threat in Srikakulam due to heavy rains in the catchment areas of Vamsadhara and Nagavali rivers. The Met Office has forecast heavy rainfall during the next 24 hours.

Kalingapatnam, Ichapuram, Kaviti, Sompeta, Palasa, Vajrapukottur and Kanthili "mandals" or blocks were worst hit by the cyclone. National Disaster Response Force teams and the district administration swung into action to provide relief in the affected areas.

Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy will review the situation with top officials in Hyderabad.

Authorities shifted 1.29 lakh people to safe places in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam. However, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts escaped the fury of the cyclone. 

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