BHUBANESWAR: A day after monster cyclone Hud Hud ripped through Visakhapatnam plunging the port city into darkness on October 12, a 550-strong team of fire fighters and disaster rapid action force personnel from Odisha helped ‘spread the light.’
The men from Odisha worked four nights erecting tower lights illuminating the sea-side city which was picking up pieces before fanning out to different parts of the cyclone-ravaged north Andhra Pradesh.
After Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik assured his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chadrababu Naidu of Odisha’s support in reconstruction works, the teams headed to the neighbouring State on October 13 from different routes by clearing the roads.
“We had mobilised our teams from across the State immediately after we came to know that AP would require assistance and reached there in the nick of time,” Additional Director General of Police, Fire Services and Home Guard M Nageswara Rao said.
They were divided into 60- odd teams and at least 11 of them stayed back in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts while the rest proceeded to Visakhapatnam.
Equipped with 60 sophisticated compact vehicles and armed with 260 power saws, cutters and other tools, the 453 personnel from Fire Services, Home Guards and Civil Defence wing of Odisha Police and 106 Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force men cleared the roads blocked by uprooted trees, electricity poles and facilitated communication services.
On Sunday, AP Chief Minister met each member of the Odisha team and expressed his State’s gratitude to Odisha for the support.
“Odisha’s disaster management model should be replicated in Andhra Pradesh,” said Rao quoting Naidu. Rao monitored the five-day operation in Andhra.
Quoting the Andhra CM, he said, disaster management stands in good stead in the east coast helmed by Odisha and Andhra which face the maximum number of cyclones.