Evacuations as Cyclone Hudhud approaches Indian coast

Evacuations as Cyclone Hudhud approaches Indian coast
Indian fishermen move a boat away from the coast following a cyclone warning near Podampeta village, on the outskirts of Gopalpur beach in Ganjam district, 140 kilometers (87 miles) south of Bhubaneswar, India, Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014
Fishermen have been asked not to venture out to sea in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh
Rare praise as India cyclone catastrophe averted
Animated guide: Hurricanes
How Cyclone Hudhud got its name
A mass evacuation is taking place in India’s south-eastern coast a day before Cyclone Hudhud is expected to hit land.

Around 150,000 people have already left their homes in the coastal state of Andhra Pradesh.

The cyclone, classed as “very severe” by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), is expected to hit Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states on Sunday.

The IMD predicts the storm will bring winds of up to 195km/h (120mph).

Authorities in Orissa say they could instruct a further 300,000 people to move further inland or into safer buildings.

The strength of the cyclone has been revised upwards since Friday, and the Indian Navy is on standby to assist.

Disaster relief teams are also being sent to the two states which will bear the brunt of the storm.

‘Fully geared’
In its latest report, the IMD said sea conditions would become “phenomenal” off the north Andhra Pradesh coast when the cyclone hits land.

It also warned that a storm surge of up to two metres would “inundate low-lying areas of Visakhapatnam, Vijayanagaram and Srikakulam”.

A Bangladeshi rickshaw puller waits for passengers in rainy weather caused by a depression in the Bay of Bengal, at a street in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 11 October 2014
Bangladesh has also reported high winds and rain
Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra, a special relief commissioner, said that authorities were ready.

“The administration is fully geared,” he said. “The collectors (senior government officials) have been given total clearance to take up any evacuation wherever necessary for vulnerable areas which are likely to be inundated.”

On Saturday afternoon, the cyclone lay around 330km (205 miles) southeast of Visakhapatnam.

Location of Cyclone Hudhud accurate as of 1400 GMT – Source: IMD
Location of Cyclone Hudhud accurate as of 1400 GMT – Source: IMD
A super-cyclone in 1999 killed more than 10,000 people in Orissa.

Last October as many as 500,000 people in India were evacuated when a severe cyclone called Phailin swept through Orissa and Andhra Pradesh states.

India’s eastern coast and Bangladesh are routinely hit by cyclonic storms between April and November which cause deaths and widespread damage to property.

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