As super cyclone ‘Fani’ moved menacingly towards Odisha, skirting along the Visakhapatnam coast, the port city received light to moderate rainfall, accompanied by strong winds, on Thursday.
For the second day, the sea was very rough with high tides lashing the shore.
Though there was not much rain, high velocity winds disrupted life to some extent.
Motorists leaving for their places of work had a tough time. Two-wheelers riders preferred to reach their destinations in a cab.
The winds were so strong that a few trees got uprooted on Andhra University campus, M.V.P. Colony, Thatichetlapalem, and a few other places.
The district authorities, as a precautionary measure, removed hoardings, flexis and posters at many places. Anticipating heavy rain and strong gales on Friday, a number of people were seen stocking essential commodities. Many petrol pumps witnessed heavy rush. “We do not want to take chances. We witnessed the impact of Hudhud in 2014. So we are stocking up essential items such as packaged food, eggs, milk, and vegetables as a precautionary measure,” said M. Sarada Devi, a homemaker.
People also made a beeline for the ATM kiosks to stock adequate funds.
Beach Road a hotspot
Braving the inclement weather, a number of enthusiasts thronged the Beach Road. Entry into the beach was, however, restricted by the police. Barricades were placed and personnel positioned to monitor the situation. The police also directed the Community Guards to keep people and tourists away from the water and ensure that people did not take selfies.
People, however, welcomed the cool climatic conditions as it brought some respite from heat. Vendors on the Beach Road and tea stalls made brisk business.
However, tourists were at the receiving end with many trains and flights getting cancelled.
“We came here on Tuesday. But we are unable to have fun on the beach as the police have imposed restrictions. We know that the measures are for our own safety. But we missed out on fun. We are not even able to go to Araku Valley. As our trains have been cancelled, we need to wait till we make bookings afresh. Till then we are stranded,” said Anirban Chatterjee a tourist from Kolkata, who was part of an eight-member group. The tourism sector was hit as many bookings for the next one week had been cancelled, said Sunit Kumar Panja of Nimantran Hotel.