A ‘near death’ experience for residents of Beach Road

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:15 pm IST

Published - October 13, 2014 04:29 pm IST - VISAKHAPATNAM

Being a helpless mute spectator to the devastating effects of Cyclone Hudhud is an image that will haunt Vizagites for a lifetime. On Sunday, the city witnessed what can be described as the worst cyclone ever experienced by the region.

As the eye of the storm passed over the city, there was a brief lull following which winds regained their potency. The winds that picked up terrifying speed after 1.30 p.m. hammered over the coast mercilessly. For the residents of Beach Road, the effects were compounded. Several apartments along the coastline were violently shaking due to the impact of the high velocity winds that started from the early hours of the day and lasted for more than 12 hours. Smashing window panes, rattling doors, flying roof tops and water-logged rooms – it was a frightening sight for people on the Beach Road.

Fearing the worst, several apartment residents of the Beach Road packed their valuables in small bags to leave their homes in case of emergency. "We kept all the cash and important documents in a bag to rush down. The flat was shaking so badly that we felt it may collapse," said Ashish Dhariwal, a resident of Pandurangapuram.

By 3 p.m., after the wind speed touched its peak, the residents huddled together at lower level floors as most of the top floors of flats on the Beach Road bore the maximum brunt of the cyclonic storm. "Within minutes our kitchen and bedroom windows were ripped out due to the wind force. We could see the utensils flying around. That moment all we prayed for was to be alive," said Ayushi Agarwal, a resident of Jasthi Square.

Left without power and water for more than 24 hours, many residents tried to enquire in hotels for room bookings. "We called up Novotel Hotel. But we were told that none of the rooms were operational and they had a conference hall with beds kept on floors for people," said Abhishek.P, a resident of Beach Road.

The huge destructive force of the cyclone caused heavy damages to hotels and commercial establishments. Sea Green Hotel at the Beach Road was badly damaged with all the glass panels of the hotel floors completed smashed to pieces. Portions of Submarine Museum that is stationed at the beach were damaged. Several structures along the Beach Road were broken, including the statues at Baby Park and near Kailasagiri.

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