Tropical Cyclone Hudhud has millions of Indians bracing for impact as it gained power over the Bay of Bengal Saturday. Weather Channel meteorologists reported Hudhud’s strength could be comparable to that of a Category 4 hurricane when it makes landfall Sunday.
Hudhud has already claimed its first victim: A 9-year-old girl was killed in a rescue-boat accident, while an 11-year-old boy went missing during the same mishap, the Times of India reported. The children were on a boat carrying 25 people from a small seaside village away from the storm’s wrath when it capsized.
A cyclone alert for Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, states on the country’s eastern coast, were issued by the Indian Meteorological Department. Hudhud is expected to make landfall near Visakhapatnam around noon local time. Reuters reported more than 100,000 people were evacuated by Saturday night, with plans in place to move hundreds of thousands more, depending on the storm’s severity and track.
Officials are warning the severe tropical cyclone could produce storm surges of between 5 and 10 feet in low-lying areas in Andhra Pradesh, BBC News said. Indian officials told Reuters a storm surge of 6 feet could decimate thatched homes in the area, as well as roads, railroads, and phone and power lines.