Amidst the unease, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conducted an aerial survey of the affected areas, accompanied by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Modi announced an interim relief of Rs 1,000 crore to Andhra Pradesh for taking up immediate relief work in Hudhud-hit Visakhapatnam and other parts. He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to the kin of those killed in the cyclone and Rs 50,000 to the injured.
The lack of coordination and proper distribution was glaring as the government tried to ensure relief reached affected people. About two lakh food packets and six lakh water sachets arrived in the port city for distribution.
But the reality seemed otherwise with scores of victims complaining of erratic distribution of food and water supplied by government employees and voluntary organisations. Only those who were physically strong were able to grab some food and water packets, while others watched helplessly.
Similarly, the wait for petrol and diesel continued to be a never-ending affair. Despite the presence of police, unruly incidents took place at petrol pumps, including attacks on staff by irate customers.
Police took control of relief operations along with distribution of milk, fuel, vegetables and other essentials at some places. Police personnel were deployed at rythu bazaars, petrol pumps and milk booths to control restive crowds.
According to the disaster management department, nearly 1.35 lakh people were still in relief camps.
The prices of essential commodities hit the roof with dealers hoarding them. Petrol was being sold in cans at Rs 200 a litre to those who cannot fight. Milk was sold at a premium of Rs 100 per packet.
Meanwhile, the toll rose to 25 with four more deaths reported. A majority of the deaths were due to falling trees. National Disaster Response Force and Armed forces personnel managed to clear the main roads, and the arterial roads have been thrown open. But the connecting roads still remain inaccessible for many. The Army continued relief operations, with four teams rescuing 117 stranded people in Pudimadaka, where the cyclone made landfall.
Airport takes Rs 500 crore hit
VISAKAPATNAM: Flight services will remain suspended for one more week at the airport, which will be closed for repairs. Official sources said that the losses could go up to at least Rs 100-150 crore. However, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that the airport suffered a loss of more than Rs 500 crore.
Powerless hospital sends back patients
■ Patients at KGH, the government hospital at Visakhapatnam, which caters to the needs of thousands of patients from nearby districts, are being turned away due to lack of power supply
■ Around 2,000 engineers and other workers expected to partially restore power in Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam by Tuesday night
■ Army deploys 16 composite teams for relief work. IAF flies in several aircraft, helicopters
■ About 13 lakh food packets, 7.37 lakh water packets, milk packets, biscuit packets, fruits and other items sent to Visakhapatnam from Rajahmundry