At least 100,000 people have been evacuated from towns and cities in the Indian states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh as Cyclone Hudhud, classified as a very severe cyclonic storm, bore down on the country’s eastern coast, the Indian Express reported Saturday. Heavy rainfall and winds approaching 100 mph are expected when the cyclone hits Sunday, the Indian Meteorological Department reportedly said.
K. Krishna Murthy, Andhra Pradesh’s deputy chief minister, said arrangements had been made to store dry rations, drinking water and other essential items at shelters where people would be evacuated, according to the Indian Express. Major cities across the state have also been put on a state of high alert.
Authorities farther north in the state of Odisha reportedly said they were monitoring the situation and would, if necessary, evacuate 400,000 people in the five districts most at risk.
“Very heavy to extreme rainfall is expected in these districts. Besides, other coastal districts may also get heavy rainfall. We have asked the district collectors to take a decision depending on the situation,” an Odisha government official reportedly said. “At least 25 teams, 15 of NDRF [National Disaster Response Force] and 10 ODRF [Odisha Disaster Response Force], have been deployed at vulnerable areas keeping an eye on the cyclone and heavy rainfall.”
Moreover, most trains traveling along the eastern coast of the country have been cancelled, while others have been diverted, the New Indian Express reported.
The evacuation process triggered by Hudhud is comparable in scale to the one launched last year, when Cyclone Phailin hit the region. According to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System, Hudhud, now comparable in scale to Phailin, is likely to have a “high humanitarian impact.”