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Cyclone-hit Vizag limps back to normalcy

Last updated on: October 15, 2014 12:37 IST

The port city of Visakhapatnam was limping back to normalcy on Wednesday with restoration of essential supplies and public transportation services, three days after it was battered by cyclone Hudhud.

The residents of Visakhapatnam have been reeling under a crisis as electricity and daily need items like milk were not available and communication network had virtually collapsed due to the devastation caused by the cyclone which struck on Sunday.

The state government has begun efforts to resume electricity supply. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has been camping in the city to oversee relief operations, directed officials to supply a package of food items like rice, daal, edible oil and some vegetables to the victims.

Naidu said the exact financial loss caused by Hudhud are yet to be calculated even as initial estimates indicate that it can go up to Rs 70,000 crore. The situation in north coastal districts is still grim and all efforts are being made to bring back normalcy as far as power supply is concerned, Naidu told reporters.

"It is very difficult to assess the damage and loss caused by the cyclone. We cannot come to a figure now. Our immediate priority is to conduct rescue and relief operations in the cyclone-hit areas," Naidu said.

In the wake of complaints that some traders are trying to exploit the situation by selling various items at exorbitant prices, Naidu has said vegetables would be provided at a low price.

With resumption of transportation to Visakhapatnam from other places in the state following removal of uprooted trees and other debris, vegetables and milk are now arriving in the city, officials said.

The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation, a major mode of public transportation in AP, said in a release in Hyderabad on Tuesday that bus services in the cyclone-hit districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts have been resumed.

The South Central Railway opened up rail route to Visakhapatnam on Tuesday after repairing the track breaches on the Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section.

The cyclone, accompanied by gusty winds with a speed of about 180 kmph and heavy rains, left a trail of destruction behind in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Uprooted trees and electric poles have become a common sight in the cyclone-hit districts with most parts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam languishing in darkness following the onslaught of the cyclonic storm.

Naidu ensured the people that power is expected to be partially restored in some places by the evening or tomorrow.

According to the state disaster management department, 25 people have been killed in various rain-related incidents till late last night.

Over 1.35 lakh people were provided shelter in relief camps and 6,85,000 people have been provided food.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the port city on Tuesday and announced an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore to take up immediate relief works. He also announced Rs two lakh to the next of kin of those killed in the cyclone and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

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