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Cyclone Hudhud batters power infra in Odisha districts

Cyclonic storm Hudhud has caused extensive damage to power distribution infrastructure in five districts of Odisha before weakening in intensity into a deep depression over south Chattisgarh.

The districts of Koraput, Malkangiri, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Gajapati have suffered maximum damage on power distribution set up after the cyclone struck the Andhra coast near Visakhapatnam on Sunday and moved towards southern Odisha’s hinterland.

“The distribution system has been damaged in five districts. The complete damage assessment report will be available in 2-3 days. More than 1,500 people are at work for restoration”, said Suresh C Mohapatra, principal secretary (energy).

In the affected districts, around 600 poles and 20 power transformers have been damaged as gusty winds have uprooted trees in the areas. The transmission lines and grid sub stations have survived the cyclonic storm. Electricity is expected to be restored in all blocks of the five affected districts by Monday evening.

The state government has, meanwhile, despatched 30 fire service teams consisting of 410 personnel, to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh hit hard by Hud Hud.

“Each fire service team is under the charge of a deputy fire services officer. Out of 30 teams, 20 teams will be deployed in Visakhapatanam district and the balance 10 units in Srikakulam district”, said Deputy Relief Commissioner Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra.

Odisha has also sent two teams of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), 120 mechanised tree cutters and 60 inflatable tower lights for rescue operations in Andhra Pradesh.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik who reviewed the situation in the aftermath of the cyclone’s landfall, has stressed on carrying out restoration work on a war footing.

“I had a detailed review of the damage caused by the cyclone in the affected districts. Energy infrastructure has been badly damaged in Koraput, Rayagada, Nabarangpur and Malkangiri districts. We are hopeful of restoring power supply to more than 90 per cent of areas by this evening. Crop loss assessment and other damage assessment will be done very shortly”, said Patnaik.

Latest bulletin (12:30 hours) released by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) says the cyclone that has turned into a deep depression, would move northwards and later north-northeastwards. Thereafter, it would weaken into a depression in the next six hours and into a well marked low pressure area during the subsequent 12 hours.

There is forecast of isolated heavy (6.5-12.4 cm) to very heavy rainfall (12.5-24.4 cm) over Chattisgarh and adjoining east Madhya Pradesh and interior Odisha during the next 24 hours and over east Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar in the next 48 hours.

Squally wind speed reaching 40-50 km per hour gusting to 60 km per hour would prevail up to 100 km of the system centre during next six hours which includes areas of Chattisgarh and adjoining west Odisha.

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