Hudhud cyclone still fresh in memory of vizagites
Andhra Pradesh

Hudhud cyclone still fresh in memory of vizagites

Visakhapanam, Oct 12: The devastation caused by the extremely severe cyclone Hudhud on October 12, 2014 is still fresh in the memory of Vizagites but it had taught many lessons including the need for well-planned disaster preparedness, strict adherence to standard operating procedure and comprehensive insurance to revive operations in the quickest possible time.

The way the people of the city showed solidarity with one another at the time of a big crisis and joined the movement to rebuild Vizag has become talking point all over the world.

“Though it was a traumatic experience, the speed with which we revived the operations - recouping within two weeks and reviving operations within a month became a case study on disaster recovery for the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad,” said former CMD of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) P. Madhusudan.

Thanks to RINL collective and support rendered by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, we could restart the operations scoffing rumors 'on leakage of hazardous gases after forcible shutdown,” he said.

The way the Vizagites responded to the State government’s call not to burst crackers on Diwali as it could cause bonfire of fallen trees stored at open grounds and vacant sites won accolades from Naidu and his team of Ministers. In fact, wherever he goes, he makes it a point to cite how Vizagites recovered fast after suffering unprecedented damage with no power supply for several days.

Sarda Metals and Alloys Ltd Director Neeraj Sarda said, for me personally Hudhud was a very humbling experience. It was for the first time, I along with my family experienced nature’s fury from close quarters as we stay right on the Beach Road.

He said, in our factory, almost 23 km away from the coast, Hudhud flattened 500 MT of steel shed of 80 m wide and 140 m long. This showed me the actual power of nature. Overnight, our beautiful city was ravaged and brought to a standstill. But what amazed me more was the resilience with which we bounced back as a city as well as a community overall. Today it’s difficult for anyone to believe that the city was once battered by Hudhud.

Sravan Shipping Services Limited (SSSL) Managing Director G. Sambasiva Rao said one of the biggest lessons was to go for comprehensive insurance instead of opting for a policy only to meet the prerequisite for loans.

“Reinstate policy, which we had taken for our infrastructure like warehousing by paying higher premium, helped us getting almost 90 percent of our claim,” he said. At the time of tragedy, only 5 percent of trade and commerce in the city took reinstate policy. Moreover, properties of big establishments like the Visakhapatnam Port and the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) were not covered under adequate insurance.

Those coming under the MSME sector had claimed a damage of Rs.500 crore. They could revive operations in a month due to the government pressure on the insurance firms to release 50 percent of claim immediately. (UNI)