HudHud and the Hero
We all saw the way Uttarandhra (the north coastal districts of AP) was affected by the Hudhud cyclone. Winds blowing at the speeds of 200-220 Kilometers per hour practically ravaged the cities, towns and villages of uttarandhra. Visakhapatnam the city where this super cyclone made it landfall became the epicenter of destruction. The city of destiny was reduced to tears as it lost its trees, its beautiful beaches, 90%of the electrical poles, its port, the air port and the awesome Kailasgiri. The denizens of the city were reduced to mere muted spectators as the winds and torrential rains shattered their homes and left them listless. Vizianagaram and Srikakulam the other two districts of Uttarandhra also suffered huge losses. The preliminary estimates of the losses due to HudHud cyclone are pegged at Rs.60,000 Crores.
I was born and brought up in this region and I have never seen a cyclone as this one before. My father and many others in his generation are also baffled as they did not see or hear of any cyclone of this magnitude. Cyclones are not new to us, we the people from coastal areas of AP see a cyclone almost every alternate year. Every cyclone meant crop loss to farmers, every cyclone meant that 100’s of people were dead, every cyclone meant death to herds of cattle. However, none of them were as strong as HudHud. HudHud was many times bigger than all these and created unfathomable losses for AP.
Precautionary steps :
While we lost hundreds of people every year due to natural calamities of lesser order, we did not lose people to HudHud. The death till last Monday were less than 10. Surprisingly the loss of cattle was also minimal. The center and state governments used technology very aptly and started evacuations some 48 hours before the tragedy occurred. . While all the previous cyclones caught us unprepared this was one occasion where people were practically waiting for the storm to arrive. Thanks to the technology, the meterology department and the center and state governments on a job well done.
Rescue & Relief Operations :
As ever, the rescue operations started immediately, the only difference this however was that normalcy was restored in 2 days. Some 60,000 electrical poles were laid in 3 days and the electricity was restored in the city. Milk was procured from each and every district of AP and was provided to the 18 lakh people affected by this cyclone. Generators and fire engines from all parts of the state were pressed into service for the people of these 3 districts. Communication lines were restored fairly quickly and rescue and rehabilitation works are being handled on a war footing. How was all this possible ?
We have seen many a cyclone, however we never saw a chief minister camping in a cyclone affected city for 7 days and monitoring the rescue and rehabilitation work first hand. We have known about Prime Minister’s who do aerial surveys but we have never seen a PM who travels for more than 20 KM on road gets a first hand understanding of things and then holds a review meeting in the district collector’s office. Hat’s off to Naidu and Modi and their commitment.
Naidu’s work deserves a special mention. The way he responded to the crisis was simply superb. He camped in the place that was worst affected and ensured that all departments gave their best and worked synchronously to provide the best of the services to the people. In a way he is now the true hero for crores of Andhrites. Here are few testimonies from some of the renowned Telugus.
Here is what the renowned singer S.P.Balasubrahmanyam had to say.
Gollapudi Maruthi Rao garu another renowned Telugu was in Vishakhapatanam during that time and here is an article he wrote to a telugu daily. He lauds the Naidu and Modi for the work they have done .
Happy that I supported both Naidu and Modi. India needs leaders like them .