Cyclone Hudhud

Odisha breathed easier on Sunday as Cyclone Hudhud made its landfall near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh without causing much damage in the state. However, heavy rain and squalls in southern parts of the state created flood fears in Bansadhara, Rushikulya and Nagavali rivers.

Three people died over the past two days in the course of evacuation and Sunday’s heavy rains, news agencies reported.

Official sources said over 1.56 lakh people were evacuated and provided shelter at 1,690 buildings in the state, with Gajapati district shifting the maximum number of about 57,000 people, to prevent human casualty during the storm.

The administration also evacuated some Bondas, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, in Malkangiri district. On Saturday, three persons had died during the evacuation process — two drowned when a boat engaged in evacuating people at Satbhaya in Kendrapara capsized in the Baunsagadi rivulet and a fisherman perished trying to save his boat in Puri.

As the very severe cyclonic storm ripped through parts of Andhra, tidal surge was reported from certain coastal pockets in Odisha, including Puri and Rajnagar (in Kendrapada). Trees and electric poles were uprooted at some places, especially Pottangi in Koraput district, official sources said.

Special relief commissioner Pradipta Mohapatra said rain accompanied by wind measuring up to 60-70 kmph was recorded in eight southern Odisha districts, namely, Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada, Koraput, Malkanagiri, Nabarangpur, Kalahandi and Kandhamal. “By Monday afternoon, rain and wind would subside as the cyclone would cross Odisha through Malkangiri and Koraput districts by then,” he said.

The weatherman predicted rain in different parts of Odisha over the next three days with a few places likely to record extremely heavy precipitation.

Train and bus services were affected. At least 21 trains on the Bhubaneswar-Hyderabad were cancelled and 13 diverted. Private and government bus operators regulated movement of their vehicles in southern Odisha, leaving passengers stranded in certain areas. Three flights were cancelled as the wind speed was considered more than permissible limits.

In the evening, chief minister Naveen Patanik assured his Andhra counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu all help after the latter telephoned the former and sought assistance in post-cyclone restoration work. “Teams to clear rods, cut trees and restore power will be sent immediately along with mega generator sets. The special relief commissioners of both states will be in constant touch,” a spokesperson said.

Sources said the government was keeping watch on Bansadhara, Rushikulya and Nagavali rivers. None of the rivers had touched their danger marks till 9pm. “It all depends on the rain on Sunday night and Monday. We have depleted our reservoirs, including Hirakud, and are prepared to face any eventuality including floods in the Mahanadi in case it rains heavily,” water resources secretary PK Jena added.

Content Courtesy: The Times of India

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