Home English News Cyclone Hudhud: Modi to visit devastated areas, toll rises to 21!

Cyclone Hudhud: Modi to visit devastated areas, toll rises to 21!

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cycloneNew Delhi, October 14 – Two days after the devastating cyclonic storm Hudhud ravaged Andhra Pradesh, the death toll in the state on Tuesday mounted to 21 with 16 more bodies found.

“A total of 15 deaths were reported from Visakhapatnam district, five in Vizianagaram and one in Srikakulam,” Special Commissioner in state Disaster Management Department K Hymavathi told PTI.

Advisor (Communications) to the state government, Parakala Prabhakar said that most of the deaths occurred due to fall of trees. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would visit Visakhapatnam and undertake an aerial survey of the affected areas on Tuesday afternoon.

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According to the disaster management department, over 1.35 lakh people are taking shelter in relief camps where over four lakh people are provided with food. “Food packets and essential items are transported from Vijayawada and other places by air.

The aircraft carrying the relief material had problems in landing in the morning, but it was sorted out,” Prabhakar said. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who is camping in Visakhapatnam to oversee relief operations, undertook an aerial survey of the city and reviewed the situation with officials and also visited fishing harbour in the city.

Naidu announced an ex-gratia of Rs.five lakh each to next of the kin of the deceased and the provision of 25 kgs rice, one kg sugar and five litres of Kerosene. The Chandrababu Naidu government in Andhra Pradesh has formed five special teams to look after health, restoration, relief, power and sanitation.

The state government will provide five litres of kerosene, 50 kg rice, and one kg sugar for the fishermen and weavers whose work has been affected due to the calamity.

Meanwhile, the picturesque port city of Visakhapatnam, a major industrial, educational and tourism hub in the east coast, which lay battered yesterday is showing signs of returning to normalcy with workers removing debris lying strewn on streets.

Vizag resembled a war-ravaged zone yesterday as Hudhud unleashed gusty winds and heavy rains that uprooted trees, knocked down cell towers, transformers, and telephone poles at several places.

Communication systems and electricity broke down in the city since Saturday night and people at many a places are falling back on radio to know the updates about the cyclone.

Hudhud did not spare Visakhapatnam airport either blowing away its roof in gales. Lights and boards in the facility are either knocked down on ground or swept away.

visakhapatnam-cycloneMeanwhile, the relief personnel, including from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Army, began clearing the debris and made way for flow of traffic on some of the major roads.

Prabhakar said the government is speaking to telecom service providers to see that the communication systems are restored at the earliest. “The enumeration of crops and property loss has begun, he said,” adding that 45,000 electric poles would be installed to restore power.

Of this, 2000 poles have reached Vizag and restoration works are being carried out, Prabhakar said. Noting that the government is trying to restore all telecom systems by tonight, Prabhakar said that 500 field staff and 100 engineers are working day-and-night to restore normalcy.

Responding to Naidu’s call yesterday to upload photos of the damages on social media, many citizens in the cyclone-hit places have sent images which would be synchronised with the images of the remote-sensing agencies.

Meanwhile, East Godavari district administration said tonight that about 20,000 people have been shifted to 72 relief camps. “19 boats, 14 NDRF teams and 85 swimmers are kept ready for emergency use,” said district collector Neetu Kumari.

An official release said the Army teams continued to carry out relentless rescue operations, following landfall of Hudhud cyclone in Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh. Four such teams at Atchutapuram have rescued 117 stranded people in Pudimadka, a remote village 55 km from Visakhapatnam.

Two other Army rescue teams, on receipt of information about a blocked axis due to uprooting of large number of trees and electricity poles, worked throughout the night yesterday and cleared the road communications in Srikakulam district, thereby evacuating trapped locals, NDRF and Navy rescue teams.

Presently, four rescue teams with boats are engaged in rescue of around 1800 people who were found stranded in inundated areas around village Konda Chakarapalli in Vangara Mandalam of Srikakulam district.

Of them, 126 people, including women and children have been rescued so far and rescue operation is in progress to evacuate the remaining. Additional rescue teams of Army have also moved to Srikakulam District to extend help to the suffering people, the release said.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) said in a release that bus services to Visakhapatnam have been restored.

-INDIA TODAY