At least 24 people have been killed by Cyclone Hudhud, which struck India’s southeastern coast Sunday. The cyclone, which began weakening Monday, after making landfall in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, has forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate the region.
The port city of Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh reportedly saw massive destruction with uprooted trees, blocked roads, and snapped electrical and telecom lines. The storm, which packed winds of over 120 miles per hour also damaged homes, vehicles and other property, and led to the evacuation of over 150,000 people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Vishakhapatnam Tuesday to take "stock of the situation."
Heusikeswa Rao, a trader in Visakhapatnam, said, "I do not know how many days it will take to restore my business. I have lost everything," according to Reuters.
The Indian government has started relief operations in Vishakhapatnam, including the restoration of power lines Tuesday, while rescue officials delivered supplies to the region. Four naval ships were also being prepared to carry relief material for about 5,000 people, while four more were on standby, reports said.
The roof of the Vishakhapatnam airport was carried away by strong winds, NDTV, a local news network, reported. "The runway is okay, and the air traffic control suffered minimum damage," Atul Singh, Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner, said, according to NDTV.
N. Bangaramma, a mother of three, told Reuters: "We do not know how we manage for the next few days," adding: "Our house was damaged. Whatever we had was washed away."