VISHAKHAPATNAM: The residents of Vizag were relaxed taking cyclone Hudhud as one of the many ‘normal’ cyclones as in the past, but only to see it get deadlier later.
The cyclone, with initial winds at 70 kmph, gradually reached 200 mph on Sunday afternoon coupled with heavy rainfall. It went around uprooting trees, electric poles and flexiboards. It disconnected all methods of communications and interrupted the power supply.
M Ramya, an engineering student and resident of Seethammadhara said she had never experienced such cyclone before. "We just stared out of our windows as trees and electric poles got uprooted all through the night. We feared that they may fall on our house or shatter our windows."
Those living in apartments spent their entire Sunday cleaning the house as water had seeped in through every gap possible. The situation was far worse for those living in thatched huts and old buildings particularly in One Town area, Sheelanagar, Chavulamdum and other low lying areas which were flooded. It was only by Sunday midnight that they could take a break as the rain had stopped by then.
K Sreekar, a marketing executive from One Town area said he had one of the most horrific experiences in his life as rain water inundated his house. "There was no power nor could we place a candle anywhere in the house. We spent the night in the glow of cellphones”.
The violent phase of the cyclone continued till Sunday afternoon, and people were not able to do anything other than pray.
From 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm, when the rains paused for a while, people stepped out to fetch essentials. But many were caught unawares as the skies opened up again.
Many said they haven’t seen such cyclone in the past. Ch Chinnari, a resident at Visalaksi nagar said she has been residing in Visakhapatnam city for past 25 years, but never saw such a violet cyclone. "Hudhud was the strongest cyclone I have ever seen. Many cyclones passed by but none had such severe and direct impact on Vizag," she added.
Interestingly, the liquor shops and the meat shops were thronged by a large number of people on Sunday afternoon as well as Monday evening. Those who were waiting in queue said, "There is less competition here compared to milk, vegetables and other essentials. Moreover, who would not like to have a glass of liquor and a piece of chicken after spending two long and tiresome days?"