Whenever there is a formation of a cyclonic system over the Bay of Bengal, Vizagites experience a feeling of discomfort and insecurity, as memories of Hudhud come flooding in.
Visakhapatnam was devastated and its people were ratted when the very severe cyclonic storm ‘Hudhud’, a category-4 storm, made landfall in the city on October 12, 2014, with sustained wind speed touching 185 to 200 kmph and gusting crossing the 250 kmph mark.
Trail of destruction
The city, which lost more than 60% of its green cover, went without power supply for over four to seven days. Supplies of essential commodities went dry and people queued up outside the makeshift stores for basic supplies. Communication network remained disrupted for days.
Hudhud had its impact in the districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari. More than 20 lives were lost, 7,000 houses damaged and over 5,000 electric posts and transformers uprooted or damaged in Visakhapatnam district alone.
“Every time we read or hear about a cyclonic storm brewing over the Bay of Bengal, the memories of Hudhud come alive. Well, we have learnt our lessons and now take precautions. We do not want to take any chances,” says Shailaja, a housewife.
While on one side the denizens dread another storm, on the other, the city is desperate for rain.
“We hope that there is no devastation. We are keeping our fingers crossed with the hope that the super cyclone will bring some rain as ground water is on a rapid decline in the city,” says R.R. Rao, former scientist of Naval Physical and Oceanographic Laboratory (NPOL).
A constant drizzle will be advantageous over quick and heavy thunder showers. Only a constant drizzle or a moderate rainfall can have the desired effect on ground water recharge. In case of heavy thunder showers, most of the water flows back into the sea, he adds.