Andhra CM Naidu requests Centre to term Hudhud as ‘national calamity’

Hyderabad(ANI): Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday requested the Central government to declare Cyclone Hudhud as a ‘national calamity’ and said that the Central government was working closely with the state authorities to contain the damage even as, earlier in the day, the storm made its landfall at Vishakhapatnam.

Andhra CM Naidu requests Centre to term Hudhud as ‘national calamity’

“It is a very severe cyclone. Just now, the eye of the cyclone has crossed on to the land and the rest of the cyclone will take around three to four hours to cross on to land. I request the Centre to declare this as a national calamity,” Naidu said, addressing the media at the Andhra Pradesh State Development Planning Society (APSDPS) here.

Talking about the role that the Centre had taken, Naidu also said that he had spoken to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had given his assurance of all available assistance to help contain the damage by the storm.

“The situation is very serious in three or four districts. We are making all arrangements. Already, the Centre has helped us. I just spoke to the Prime Minister, who said that he will do what all is possible. They have also mobilised NDRF troops, boats and helicopters. We are working very closely with the Central government,” said Naidu.

“The amount of damage is yet to be assessed. Our priority is rescue and rehabilitation operations. We appeal to the people to cooperate,” he added.

Naidu also confirmed that he plans to visit Vishakhapatnam later in the day to assess the damage in the city.

“I will be visiting Vishakhapatnam later in the day. If travelling by air is not possible, I will travel by road,” he said.

Naidu further said that due to the storm, all communications with a radar station in Vishakhapatnam had been lost and that as per reports, four people had been killed.

“We have lost communication with the radar in Vishakhapatnam due to which we have been unable to calculate the speed and velocity of the cyclone. At the same time, the Navy radar has given some information to us, according to which the wind speeds are between 190-200 kilometres per hour but that figure is yet to be confirmed,” Naidu said.

“An initial report states that three or four people have been killed. We don’t know the exact number; only two deaths have been confirmed,” he added.

Naidu also appealed to the people in the affected areas to help the National Remote Sensing Centre (NSRC) to assess the damage via information, whether photographic or video.

“We are using technology. The NRSA has taken satellite maps. Time to time, the maps will be updated so that losses can be evaluated. I appeal to people. We are providing the facility of crowd sourcing to assess the damage. On the basis of that, quick action will be taken,” he said.

The eye of Cyclone Hudhud crossed the coast of between Vishakhapatnam and Bheemilipatnam at 11.30 am. The cyclone had been moving at a speed of approximately 20 kmph with wind speeds of 180 kmph. The winds reduced considerably as the eye of the storm passed over the region. However, the rainfall is likely to continue for next 24 hours.

The Eastern Naval Command had been put on high alert to provide any assistance towards rescue and relief of affected persons. Towards this end the preparations made included readying ships, aircraft and diving teams.

Indian Naval Ships Ranjit, Shivalik, Shakti and Airavat are ready to sail with relief material for 5000 personnel embarked onboard the ships. Additionally, four more ships have been kept ready for sailing at short notice for relief operations as required. Two Dornier fixed wing aircraft and six helicopters are also ready for deployment and one Long range Maritime Reconnaissance aircraft (P 8I) has also kept standby for carrying out damage assessment once the cyclone passes and wind speeds reduce.