Reported by Biswaranjan Mishra
Puri, Oct 12:
One fisherman was killed while 15 houses in the Penthakata fishermen’s colony were damaged in Odisha’s holy town of Puri under the impact of Cyclone Hudhud, reports said.
The fisherman was killed on Saturday night while he was trying to drag the boats to the shore. He was reportedly crushed between two boats under the impact of violent waves and died.
Over 4,000 persons were evacuated from low lying areas and sea side habitations across five blocks in the district as a preacutionary measure.Residents of the fishermen’s colony in Penthakata close to the sea had been sent to the nearby cyclone shelter where they were provided with cooked and dry food.
Puri SP Asish Kumar Singh had issued an advisory to the local hotel owners to ensure tourists stay in their hotel rooms and not to venture into the sea for bathing or sightseeing.
Police had sealed all the roads leading to low lying zones and areas close to the sea. The beach was also cleared of all visitors and vendors. while life guards and police personnel kept a close vigil along the beach.
The road to hotel Sterling Resorts from the Hans Coco Palm, a stretch of nearly three kilometers along the beach, was closed for traffic.
Hotels located too close to the sea were evacuated on Saturday night following a sudden rise in the sea level with the tide swelling to a height of six to eight feet. Fourteen electric poles on the beach have been uprooted, reports said.
Four villages in Astaranga area were badly hit as tidal sea waves entered their villages. The residents were shifted to cyclone shelters.
Similarly in Krushna Prasad in Chilika near the mouth of the lagoon, tidal waves entered Sipakuda and three other villages.
In Chandrabhaga near Konark, dwellers of the fishermen colony were evacuated to nearby cyclone shelters.
Though there was little effect of cyclone Hudhud in Puri, there was panic all around following frightening speculations over the speed and intensity of the storm.
Thousands of hotel bookings by tourists, mostly from Bengal, who were expected to spend the Puja holidays in Puri were cancelled.
The hospitality industry has sustained a huge loss said R K Patra,secretary of the Puri Hotel Owners Association.
The power and drinking water supply, however, are almost stable, he said.