Vizag has had a tragic history with cyclones. Over the years, this coastal city has suffered from a fair amount of cyclones. Some to the extent that they have brought the whole city to a halt. On Sunday, Vizag was struck by Cyclone Gulab, which wreaked havoc all over the city and caused a lot of problems for the people. In simpler terms, nature’s fury could be seen in action, preventing people from leaving their homes or doing any work. Some neighbourhoods in the city even suffered lengthy periods of power outages, causing major inconvenience to the residents.
Vizag’s struggles with cyclones can easily be called the bane of the landscape. With a unique amalgam of hills and sea, the weather in this city has always been tricky to predict. But once every few years, a major cyclone hits the city. The landfall of Cyclone Gulab in Vizag has yet again highlighted some of the major problems that can be caused in our city due to heavy rainfall.
Here are the major problems faced by the people of Vizag every time a cyclone arrives:
#1 Floods in low-lying areas
Compared to some of the other cities in India, Vizag does have a better drainage system. But this drainage system is often no answer to the might of a cyclone. While Cyclone Hudhud in 2014 is an excellent example of this issue, the recent Cyclone Gulab also presented a decent case. Areas like Gajuwaka and Pendurthi were thoroughly flooded by the heavy downpour, with people having to be evacuated. As a coastal city, Vizag needs to be better prepared for cyclones, especially in this regard.
#2 No way to travel
Once a cyclone hits Vizag, arriving into the city or leaving it becomes a herculean task for people. The roads of the city are either filled with water or blocked by fallen trees, electricity poles or other structures. Travelling by rail or air isn’t a better option as water-logging takes place on railway tracks and airport runways as well. Hence, any trains or flights from Visakhapatnam are automatically cancelled under these circumstances. Additionally, people who have already arrived in the city find themselves stuck at the railway station or the airport, with the surrounding areas flooded and public transport halted.
#3 Trees, poles and other structures falling
A cyclone brings strong winds along with it and these winds cause many weak, poorly-built structures in the city to perish. In the aftermath of any major cyclone, one finds fallen trees on the road, especially in hilly areas. Anyone venturing out during the cyclone is under the threat of coming under one such tree. It gets worse when an electric pole falls. As a result, not only do roads get blocked but nearby areas also experience power outages. Weakly-built houses are prone to collapsing during this weather, endangering the lives of their residents.
#4 Landslides in hills
Travelling to the Araku Valley during or after a cyclone is not advisable. This is because heavy rainfall causes landslides in the hilly regions, resulting in blocked roads. Hence, places like Simhachalam Temple are close to inaccessible during inclement weather. During Cyclone Gulab, landslides had occurred at the Simhachalam hill, with boulders falling on both roads to the temple.
#5 Power outages
One of the major and most common problems faced during a cyclone in Vizag are power outages. In these tech-driven times, it becomes particularly difficult for people when there is no electricity at their houses. In such circumstances, not only are people unable to work but daily household work is also disrupted. In general, people continue to experience power outages for days after the cyclone has passed.
One of the long-term effects of a cyclone are potholes. The heavy downpour damages the city roads and potholes develop. The cyclone comes and goes, leaving behind potholes. Then, the city administration has to get into action and repair these roads. Potholes on city roads is one of the most common complaints raised by the people of Vizag.
Any other problems in Vizag that are brought forward by a cyclone? Let us know.
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