News of the severe cyclone Phailin, which has scared the denizens of the city initially, has left them certainly confused Saturday evening, with the storm not having made much of an entry even by 10 pm, especially in the city. Though it was expected to hit the coast late Saturday night, those living close to the shore have been evacuated in view of storm surges, which have destroyed three huts in Jalaripeta at Appu Ghar in the wee hours. At places in Bheemili, Jalaripeta and RK Beach, larger than normal waves crashed onto the roads, while high tides damaged the retaining wall at the fishing harbour along with a few of its jetties.
G Rambabu, an auto driver and a resident of Jalaripeta at Appu Ghar said that the locals have expected heavy rains and destruction Saturday as per the alert. However, three semi-concrete huts were silently swallowed into the sea by Saturday morning, creating a tense situation in the area. Locals of the area were unable to get down to the shore to bring their boats to safety, fearing the huge waves and the furious tides.
The sea has been the only indication of an impending cyclone in the Port City. Notwithstanding the damage it wreaked after hitting the shore at Srikakulam where around 60,000 people have been evacuated, Visakhapatnam city remained dry for the most part, save for mild drizzling and small gusts of wind as of 10 pm Saturday night.
Unsurprisingly, the relatively less impact of the cyclone in the city, marked prominently by the absence of rain, have upset a few who had expected rains to lash the city and bring some respite.
However, the cyclone did affect the city, after rising water levels in the fishing harbour, destroyed most of the jetties in the fishing harbour, while raging waves brought down the retaining wall.
“I have three boats at one of the jetties in the harbour. Though the seas were very rough, the absence of wind or rain made it difficult to assess the situation,” said G Yellaji, a fisherman and a resident of fishing harbour in Jalaripeta. Along with the rest of the people in the area, Yellaji fears his boats would be destroyed by the fierce waves. “We’re all on a vigil, till this is over,” he added.
Ch Mruthyunjaya, a resident of Bheemili said he left to Jalaripeta village Saturday morning upon hearing that the seawater has come on to the roads.
None of the locals were injured, however, chaos reigned for a while as everyone rushed to safeguard the fishing boats along with their furniture and other things before the waves completely took over. Mruthyunjaya added that he stays a little far from sea coast, at Dorathota, and expects to be safe from the cyclone.
But the fishermen community now look at a bleak business for a few days as most of the boats are bound to have minor repairs that will have to be fixed before they can hit the seas again.
People of Port City, specifically the residents of Jalaripeta and other areas near the shore have been cautioned about the effects of cyclone. Few have fled to places away from the coast, while a few still left holding on to their homes, not ready to leave unless it becomes imperative.