Cyclone Hudhud death toll 43 in Andhra Pradesh; Naidu leaves for Hyderabad

The death toll on account of the cyclone 'Hudhud' stood at 43 in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu assuring that power supply would be back in the affected coastal districts by October 25.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 19, 2014, 21:50 PM IST

Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam: The death toll on account of the cyclone 'Hudhud' stood at 43 in Andhra Pradesh on Sunday, with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu assuring that power supply would be back in the affected coastal districts by October 25.

The number of those killed in rain-related incidents due to the cyclone was 43 today, according to a statement from the state disaster management department.

Naidu, camping in Visakhapatnam since Monday to oversee relief operations, left for Hyderabad today with all essential services having been resumed.

He appreciated the administration in the three cyclone-hit coastal districts of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, and Srikakulam for the efforts to bring back normalcy, but said he was not fully satisfied.

Naidu operated from a bus stationed at Collector's office, coordinating and monitoring the relief and rescue operations.

"I am leaving Visakhapatnam today after a seven-day stay with some satisfaction, but not in full. After attending some important programmes in Hyderabad and other places, I will come again to the city to monitor the situation after two days," said Naidu.

A candle-light rally would be held on October 23 at Ramakrishna beach in Visakhapatnam "to instill confidence among citizens", the Chief Minister said.

He appealed the people to celebrate upcoming Deepavali festival only by lighting lamps. He also directed the administration to cancel the licences for fire-cracker shops during the festival.

Naidu also asked the ration shop dealers to cooperate with the government in providing essential commodities like rice as per the package announced by the government for the benefit of cyclone victims.

Warning dealers against indulging in malpractices, the chief minister said, "I will not tolerate if traders indulge in malpractices and it is their responsibility to deliver the items to the victims. I will not hesitate even to arrest the dealers who indulge in malpractices."

In the immediate aftermath of the cyclone, citizens of Vizag were hit by the shortage of essential commodities.

Rough estimates put the losses due to the cyclonic storm at Rs 70,000 crores.

Earlier, Naidu said power supply would be restored up to 90 per cent in Visakhapatnam by October 23, in all the mandal headquarters of the three districts by October 22, and in most of the villages by October 25.

Describing the Hudhud cyclone as unprecedented, he said 57 EHT towers of power transmission corporation had collapsed.

Losses in the three districts were estimated at Rs 300 crore for APTransco,?Rs 700 crore for APEPDCL (Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company) and Rs 200 crore for others.

Naidu said physical inspection has to be conducted for 2,700 km of 33 KV (kilo watt) lines, 18,000 km of 11 KV lines, 42,000 km of LT (low tension) lines and 55,000 DTR in the three districts.

The administration has been able to restore power supply to 10 lakh power connections and the supply has to be restored to 13 lakh connections under EPDCL jurisdiction in Visakhapatnam.

As many as 13,765 engineers and other employees, including contract labour, have been deployed for the electricity restoration work, with 289 cranes and other heavy equipment.

The chief minister appreciated the help provided by the Odisha government and its immediate response and help to the three cyclone-hit coastal districts. "I appreciate the Orissa government's help. The rescue teams have done an excellent work," he said.