Cyclone Hudhud: 24 Dead after India's Andhra Pradesh and Odisha Clobbered By Fierce Storm
A day after the deadly Cyclone Hudhud ravaged parts of India's eastern coast and killed 24 people, residents are furiously scrambling to find supplies to stay alive, according to the Associated Press.
Damaged stores in the busy port city of Visakhapatnam have remained open to sell gas, milk and other groceries at prices far higher than normal, according to the Times of India. Basic necessities are being sold at twice or thrice the normal price as local store owners attempt to cash in on desperate citizens in a country where as many as 50,000 mud hut residences were destroyed by the storm, the Associated Press reports.
The Associated Press reports that 21 deaths were counted in in Andhra Pradesh and three in Odisha as of late Monday, and that the deaths were mostly attributable to collapsed walls and trees. In addition to the deaths, around 80,000 thatched huts were destroyed in Odisha and 6,500 homes were demolished in Andhra Pradesh.
Rescuers evacuated over 10,000 people in both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Monday.
The state government has not officially determined the cost of damage, but estimations are saying it could be at least Rs 10,000 crore, or 100 billion rupees (around $1.6 billion U.S. dollars), The Times of India reported. Andhra Pradesh state Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu was urging India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, to declare the storm a national calamity, India Today reports.
According to the BBC, Hudhud brought winds as high as 127 mph as it passed near Visakhapatnam, uprooting hundreds of trees and bringing down power lines. The storm has since weakened but continues to deliver high winds and drenching rain. Authorities say it is too early to know the full extent of damage, partly because communications are out for many areas. Damage assessments will start on Monday, Reuters reports.
As Odisha state largely escaped Hudhud's grips, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patanik promised aid to Andhra Pradesh. According to The Times of India, a spokesperson said, "Teams to clear rods, cut trees and restore power will be sent immediately along with mega generator sets. The special relief commissioners of both states will be in constant touch."