Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting the cyclone-hit Visakhapatnam on Tuesday afternoon to assess the impact of ‘Hudhud’ on this industrial city and the neighboring districts by meeting the state government officials and also through an areal survey.
He is expected to spend about two hours in the city, according to AP government’s media advisor Parakala Prabhakar.
The day after the cyclone hit hard the the port city while uprooting and causing damages to the trees, communication and electricity supply network and the houses with high-speed gales, the state government machinery and the National Disaster Response Force(NDRF) teams had stepped up the restoration of basic amenities to people, clearing trees and other debris from the roads besides assessing the damage to the public and private property. Power supply in these districts is yet to be restored as over 5,000 electrical poles and transformers were damaged by high speed winds, according to the official information.
Total number of cyclone-related deaths rose to 7, according to the official statement while there is an ambiguity in the number of missing persons.
Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who rushed to Visakhapatnam on Monday morning, announced additional relief measures like supply of 25 kg rice to each affected family and 50 kg rice for fishermen and weaver families among other things. The chief minister has already written a letter to the Prime Minister seeking an immediate assistance of Rs 2,000 crore to restore normalcy in north coastal Andhra.
On Monday he constituted five teams with IAS officers besides deputing 30 All India Services officers to over see the emergency, rescue and rehabilitation efforts in the 44 affected mandals.
According to the government statistics, 117 villages in 11 mandals of Srikakulam district, 103 villages in 11 mandals of Visakhapatnam district, 22 villages in 2 mandals of Vizianagaram district, and 78 villages in 20 mandals of East Godavari district were affected by the the cyclone. The full picture of actual damage on the ground is still being assessed and would take some time, Prabhakar said at a press conference on Monday afternoon.
However, there seems to be some ambiguity in regard to the number of evacuees and the missing persons. The chief minister said that about 5 lakh people were shifted to the rehabilitation camps while the statistics compiled by the administration showed the same at 1.35 lakh people with total number of persons affected as 2.48 lakh people.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) president Shiv Kumar Rungta complimented the government for minimising the loss of human lives.