New Delhi, Oct 12: Rain stopped for a brief spell as Cyclone Hudhud crossed over Vishakhapatnam a little after noon on Sunday and the Met department said there would be a brief lull of about an hour before it would resume, bringing with it "great damage potential."
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) official LS Rathore said at a press conference soon after the cyclone made landfall that relief and rescue operations in Vizag would be critical in the next few hours, once heavy rainfall resumed.
The storm hit coast with a wind speed of about 170-180 kmph, gusting to 195 kmph.
He also said that after crossing the coast the cyclone would begin losing wind speed and in six hours would weaken to be categorised as a cyclonic storm and in 12 hours would become a depression. This means that by this evening wind speeds will have reduced by half.
He assesses that air traffic in the region should resume by Monday morning as the wind speeds would have diminished considerably by then. Several trains have been canceled and air services have been suspended.
The Met department has said Vizag will bear the brunt of Hudhud. It has rained heavily in the district and in neighbouring coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh all morning. More than 300,000 people have bee evacuated to safer areas. Two people have died in rain-related incidents.
There will also be heavy rain in coastal districts of south Orissa. And in parts of West Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the Met department said.