It has been one year exactly, since Hudhud struck the shores of Vizag and flatboated into the city with force. An extremely severe cyclonic storm, Hudhud caused unimaginable loss and distress in the entire of Eastern India and Nepal. Trees were uprooted, people were left homeless, and lives were lost. The day dawned as one of the darkest moments in the history of Visakhapatnam, turning the fate of the city of destiny.
Starting out with peak strength in Vizag, the cyclone moved on to destroy other parts of India on the eastern shores. Scary wind speeds of 175 Km/h went on ruthlessly, disrupting the once lush green Vizag into an uprooted massacre. Within hours of reaching the Vizag coast, Hudhud cut off the Radar of Visakhapatnam Cyclone Warning Center, making it all the more difficult to convey the oncoming catastrophe.
Later, Hudhud went on to consume the neighboring districts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. Close to 124 casualties were reported and an exorbitant financial damage of INR 20,000 Cr. More than 5 Lakh people were evacuated and moved to rescue camps.
What was once called as the City of Destiny ended up to be a barren city of turmoil. Morale was crushed, spirits were broken, wounds were fresh. Sudden gamut of nature’s catacylsm left little in the minds of people to sink in the grief. After two days passed, there was not a tree in sight. The city looked like some kind of horrid mirage that spewed hopelessness and point of no return.
It was then the real soul of Vizag awoke. People did not wait for a miracle to happen and turn things around. They held hands together, and started picking up what was left. The city was void of power, and the Chief Minister Sri N Chandrababu Naidu joined his people while working relentlessly to restore power and other utilities in a record time. Inner conflicts were forgotten, petty differences vanished as the people of Visakhapatnam worked hard to battle the giant ruination. Little seeds of hope and restoration were planted both on the sidewalks as well as within people’s hearts.
Slowly but steadily, Vizag got back on track. Went back to its game being one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. Businesses resumed, people continued to commute to work and little children went on to focus on their academics. In short, the once broken souls put themselves together and along with others to rebuild their home ground.
The harsh memories of Hudhud will remain – but for a good reason. Every blow brings back more within the land of Vizag to fight back with twice the might. Hudhud left some meaningful learning and minds that unlearnt to register something new – no natural crisis is bigger than the spirit of people.
Here is to the mighty spirit of the people of Vizag.