LIVE Cyclone #Hudhud: 5 dead in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha; Narendra Modi calls up Chandrababu Naidu to assure of all help

New Delhi: Severe cyclonic storm Hudhud, with wind speeds of 170-180 kmph, made landfall on India’s eastern coast in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, triggering heavy rains that left five people dead in the coastal states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

LIVE Cyclone #Hudhud: 5 dead in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha; Narendra Modi calls up Chandrababu Naidu to assure of all help

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Normal life was thrown completely out of gear as winds with a speed of 170 to 180 kmph battered Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. The very severe cyclonic storm made landfall in Visakhapatnam before noon. The gale, accompanied by heavy downpour, resulted in trees being uprooted and roofs of thatched huts and sheds being swept away.

67,752 people evacuated so far in Odisha, says CM Naveen Patnaik

Asserting that the administration was closely monitoring the situation and bracing for the aftereffects of Cyclone Hudhud in Odisha, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said that an estimated 67,752 people have been evacuated so far from various districts and brought to safe locations. “All preparations have been made in the districts to counter the effects of the cyclone and the heavy rainfall that will follow the cyclone. As per the latest information received, 67,752 people have been evacuated in Gajapati Ganjam, Koraput, Rayagada, Malkangiri, Puri, Kendrapara and Khurda districts to 604 safe shelters,” Patnaik said.

Five killed in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, normal life jolted severely

Severe cyclonic storm Hudhud hit the port city of Vishakapatnam on Sunday bringing with it torrential rains in three coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh and leaving five persons dead in the state and neighbouring Odisha besides snapping power and communication lines. Normal life was thrown completely out of gear as winds with a speed of 170 to 180 kmph battered Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. The very severe cyclonic storm made landfall in Visakhapatnam before noon. The gale, accompanied by heavy downpour, resulted in trees being uprooted and roofs of thatched huts and sheds being swept away.

Met department forecasts more damage in Visakhapatnam

The Director General of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), LS Rathore, on Sunday said that even as Cyclone Hudhud crosses over Visakhapatnam, it will experience very heavy rain thereby causing damage in the city. “The severe cyclonic storm Hudhud is just crossing over the city of Visakhapatnam. So far, the maximum sustain wind which has been reported is ranging between 170-180 kmph gusting up to 190 kmph. Heavy to very heavy rainfall is being reported along the coast,” said Rathore.

Earlier in the day, in Delhi, IMD Director Laxman Singh Rathore said the centre of cyclone was crossing the Andhra Pradesh coast and wind speed was 170-180 kmph gusting up to 195 kmph. He said the wind speed will come down by 50% in the next six hours. The average sea wave surge was 1.5 metres and will vary from one to two metres in places as the cyclone crosses Vizag.

“The PMO is monitoring the situation arising out of the cyclone on an hourly basis,” he said, adding that helicopters will operate for relief and rescue measures in the Andhra coast region only tomorrow morning after slow-down of wind speed.

The authorities have evacuated 90,013 people across the four districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhaptnam and East Godavari. The Andhra Pradesh government has identified 356 villages in 59 mandals of the four districts as cyclone-prone. More than 300 relief camps have been opened.

Army columns are positioned at Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam with power boats and other equipment for rescue and relief. Six helicopters have been positioned in the Naval base at Visakhapatnam. The Indian Air Force has tasked Headquarters Training Command, Bangalore to be the nodal agency for all relief operations in connection with severe cyclone Hudhud.

Telecom network also failed following which a control room in Visakhapatnam failed to operate, officials said.

The IMD has rated Hudhud as a very severe cyclonic storm that could pack gusts of 195 km/h and dump more than 24.5 cm (10 inches) of rain in some places when it makes landfall.

68,000 evacuated in Odisha as Cyclone Hudhud lands in Andhra Pradesh

As severe cyclonic storm Hudhud made a landfall in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said about 68,000 people have been evacuated to safe places, the chief minister said, directing the officials to continue the evacuation of people from vulnerable areas as the complete impact of the cyclone would be felt some hours after the landfall. The affected people have been accommodated in 604 shelter homes, Patnaik said, adding the state government was prepared to face the situation caused by the cyclone and possible floods thereafter.

Cyclone Hudhud reaches peak strength, pounds India’s eastern coast

Cyclone Hudhud, packing gusts of up to 195 kilometers an hour (over 120 mph), reached peak strength and caused extensive damage to India’s eastern coast on Sunday morning. It was expected to hit the coast with full force around noon local time. In and around Visakhapatnam, or Vizag, which is home to a major naval base, strengthening winds were already causing extensive damage and knocking out power supplies. “Hundreds of trees have been uprooted and power lines knocked down,” K Hymavathi, the special commissioner for disaster management for Andhra Pradesh, told Reuters by telephone.

Streets in Vizag that had been bustling on Saturday were deserted as shrill, roaring winds lashed the city, smashing windows and damaging buildings. With power out, many people had to resort to back-up generators. Vizag port suspended operations on Saturday night, with the head of the port saying that 17 ships which had been in the harbour were moving offshore where they would be less at risk from high seas.