Cyclone Hudhud Flattens Buildings And Kills At Least 22 People In India

At least 22 people are dead in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Hudhud, which ripped through India’s eastern coast Sunday and Monday with wind speeds over 100 miles per hour. The Times of India reports that 15 people were killed in the city of Visakhapatnam, six in Vizianagaram, and one in Srikakulam, with at least 6,600 houses destroyed.

REUTERS/R NarendraThese people are standing in line for petrol after Hudhud passed through Visakhapatnam.
NASACyclone HudHud makes landfall Oct. 12, 2014.

At least 400,000 people are reported to have evacuated their homes before the storm struck, according to Indian media. Local reports from Visakhapatnam describe hospitals packed with displaced people, in addition to widespread power outages and skyrocketing prices for things like food and gasoline.

At its peak, Hudhud reached the equivalent of a category 4 hurricane, with wind speeds up to 130 miles per hour. At landfall, the cyclone was visible from space as a massive, swirling storm, seen on the left.

North India’s cyclone season tends to fall between April and December. A handful of storms had already formed earlier in this year’s season, including several depressions and a cyclone dubbed Nanauk, which formed in early June. However, even Nanauk’s wind speeds never exceeded 65 miles per hour, making Hudhud the worst of the bunch by far.

The weakening storm has moved inland now, as cleanup efforts get under way in the affected areas.

REUTERS/R NarendraPeople stand on boats damaged by strong winds caused by Cyclone Hudhud in the southern Indian city of Visakhapatnam October 13, 2014.

Reports from social media further expand on the damage, with Twitter users posting images of the badly damaged Visakhapatnam airport, shown below:

The disaster comes almost exactly a year after last October’s Tropical Cyclone Phailin made landfall in the Indian state of Odisha, killing at least 44 people and forcing hundreds of thousands to evacuate.

AP Photo/Biswaranjan RoutPeople run for cover as Cyclone Hudhud hits Gopalpur, Odisha.

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