Cyclone Hudhud lashed the eastern Indian coast on Sunday, leaving at least six people dead, three each in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. Mass evacuation in the two states—over 400,000 people have been moved to relief camps— minimised loss of life, but the government is waiting for the storm to abate to assess the extent of damage.
“We are unable to ascertain the situation. Seventy percent of communication has totally collapsed … this is the biggest calamity,” N. Chandrababa Naidu, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, told a TV channel.
According to the ministry of defence, the “eye of the very severe cyclonic storm” crossed India at 11:30 am on Sunday, uprooting trees and damaging buildings. The cyclone had been moving at a speed of 20 kmph with wind speeds of the order of 180 kmph.
“I never imagined that a cyclone could be so dangerous and devastating,” a businessman in Visakhapatnam, a port city that was one of the worst affected, told Reuters. “The noise it is making would terrify anyone.”