Indian PM pledges funds after deadly cyclone

Narendra Modi visits cyclone-hit east coast and announces $163m rescue package after 22 people were killed.

    Indian PM pledges funds after deadly cyclone
    Essential goods were in short supply as arterial roads were impassable and train and flights were suspended [AP]

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a rescue package of $163m after Cyclone Hudhud, which struck India's east coast, killed at least 22 people and damaged thousands of homes.

    Modi, who on Tuesday took an aerial survey of cyclone-hit areas of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, also announced compensation of $3,270 for the kin of those who died in the cyclone, and $816 for the injured, according to local newspaper Times of India.

    Schools remained shut, electricity lines were down and communication systems were only partially working in the port city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, where cyclonic winds smashed into the coast at 200km per hour on Sunday.

    Residents in parts of Visakhapatnam jostled and shoved each other as relief trucks distributed food packets and water bottles, according to the AFP news agency.

    Essential goods were in short supply as arterial roads were impassable and bus, train and flights were suspended.

    Mass evacuations before the onset of the cyclone helped avert a larger human tragedy, officials said.

    But about 250,000 people from Andhra Pradesh and thousands in neighbouring Odisha state were affected by the storm, many of them poor fishermen and farmers.

    More than 40 National Disaster Response Force teams were engaged in rescue efforts, along with the navy and dozens of divers.

    Large swathes of crops were damaged and livestock was killed by raging winds accompanied by torrential rains.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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