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Cyclone-hit Vizag limping back to normalcy

The port city of Visakhapatnam was today limping back to normalcy with restoration of essential supplies and public transportation services, three days after it was battered by Cyclone Hudhud.

The residents of Visakhapatnam have been reeling under a crisis as electricity and daily need items like milk were not available and communication network had virtually collapsed due to the devastation caused by the cyclone which struck on Sunday.

The state government has begun efforts to resume electricity supply. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has been camping in the city to oversee relief operations, directed officials to supply a package of food items like rice, dal, edible oil and some vegetables to the victims.

In the wake of complaints that some traders are trying to exploit the situation by selling various items at exorbitant prices, Naidu has said vegetables would be provided at a low price.

With resumption of transportation to Visakhapatnam from other places in the state following removal of uprooted trees and other debris, vegetables and milk are now arriving in the city, officials said.

The state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), a major mode of public transportation in AP, said in a release in Hyderabad yesterday that bus services in the cyclone-hit districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts have been resumed.

The situation is returning to normal, it said.

The South Central Railway (SCR) has yesterday opened up rail route to Visakhapatnam after repairing the track breaches on the Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam section.

The cyclone, accompanied by gusty winds with a speed of about 180 kmph and heavy rains, left a trail of destruction behind in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts in coastal Andhra Pradesh.

Uprooted trees and electric poles have become a common sight in the cyclone-hit districts.

According to the state disaster management department, 25 people have been killed in various rain-related incidents till late last night.

Over 1.35 lakh people were provided shelter in relief camps and 6,85,000 people have been provided food.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Visakhapatnam yesterday, had announced an interim assistance of Rs 1,000 crore to Andhra Pradesh to carry out immediate relief work.

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