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Cyclone Hudhud forces 400,000 to be evacuated

 Cyclone Hudhud forces 400,000 to be evacuated

Over the course of past one week, the authorities of Andhra have managed to successfully evacuate almost 400,000 people, especially those who are based in the areas that are near to the Bay of Bengal. As Cyclone Hudhud hit Visakhapatnam with winds blowing at terrifying speeds going up to 190 Kmph, but the casualties reported were relatively lower as expected owing to the preparedness shown by the authorities. The north coastal region of Andhra Pradesh witnessed heavy rains last Saturday due to the onslaught of Cyclone Hudhud. As a precautionary measure, the Ichapuram – Kakinada national highway has been closed by authorities. Moreover, the Kakinada – Uppada highway was also closed down as it falls in the East Godavari region and due to the impact of the cyclone, water reached the road within no time as a result of the high tides generated by Hudhud. Each and every port has been closed and the authorities have halted all fishing operations for now.
Districts such as Vijayanagaram, Srikulam and Visakhapatnam had been alerted prior to the oncoming of Cyclone Hudhud. Also, some of the districts which fall in the vicinity of East and West Godavari were put on high alert. A total of 370 relief camps have been set up especially in these districts which had a high chance of being ravaged by Hudhud. In areas such as Srikulam, a total of estimated 1.85 lakh people were provided with shelter in 110 relief camps. Close to 86,000 people were evacuated from Western Godavari province whereas 72,000 were evacuated from East Godavari districts.
As per the update issued by the Indian Meteorological Department, the cyclone formed approximately 260 Km away from Visakhapatnam where 13 National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were deployed along with three more reserve teams in Guntur. In a public statement, Chief Secretary I.Y.R. Krisna Rao announced that they had requested the central government to dispatch 8 more NDRF teams in case if the impact of cyclone affects the operations of the rescue teams.
Report from IANS, Washington stated that the magnitude of the cyclone will intensify and go up to 100 Knots which is equivalent to 185 Kmph. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi held a special meeting to review the level of preparedness of the officials who were handling the rescue and evacuation process in Andhra and Odisha.
Most of the trains and flights had either been cancelled or diverted as a precautionary measure. Furthermore, 10 Helicopters of Indian Navy, 4 ships, 54 boats and 689 swimmers were kept for rescue & relief operations. Adding to that, ISRO had been asked to provide satellite images of Hudhud to track its whereabouts, which in turn, kept the relief teams updated. The authorities were also prepared for flash floods where were a possibility in the regions that fall in the vicinity of the Bay of Bengal along with the ones near to Godavari.
Altogether, the Authorities of Andhra Pradesh have managed to provide shelter to almost 400,000 people as a result of which, the loss of life was very limited.

Harshit Sinha

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