National » Andhra Pradesh

Updated: October 20, 2013 16:51 IST

Rice bowl of country worst hit by cyclones

Appaji Reddem
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With over Rs. 65,000 crore loss in terms of finances and 16,325 human deaths, Andhra Pradesh, the rice bowl of the country is worst hit, by the cyclones since 1977. Cyclonic storm is a regular visitor to the State, at least once in two to three years.

Over 30 lakh people living 5 kilometres alongside the coastline in Andhra Pradesh are vulnerable to cyclones and over 44per cent of the region is impacted, according to the Department of Disaster management.

As per government records, cyclonic storms have hit the State 73 times in the past 37 years. There were two instances which are considered worst -- one being 1977 cyclone in which over 10,000 human lives and 2,50,000 cattle lost and the other is the one in 2009 where the loss was pegged at Rs. 12,455 crore.

The recurring disasters of different sorts have had a severe impact on the State’s economy, policies and political equilibrium and life at large. Besides cyclones, the State is battered by every kind of disaster such as floods, earthquakes and drought.

The disaster of 1977 had even attracted the attention of the international community and donor organisations. Interestingly, Andhra Pradesh falls in the 12,000-km coastline within South Asia which is victim to perennial cyclones. Over 95per cent of the major cyclonic disasters experienced in the world have taken place in the region. And the incidence of cyclones is more in the Bay of Bengal compared to the Arabian Sea.

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