My father had witnessed the devastating 1977 Andhra Pradesh cyclone, that killed at least 14,204 people. The worst affected areas were in the Krishna River delta region. The island of Diviseema, which was hit by a six metre high storm surge, experienced a loss of life running into the thousands. Hundreds of bodies were floating in the waters, and bodies bloated beyond recognition were consigned to mass pyres. Landslides ripped off the railway lines in the Waltair-Kirandal route. About 100 people who had left their homes to seek shelter in a church in Bapatla town were killed when the building collapsed. Fields of paddy and cash crops were submerged by the tidal waves. Thirteen sailing vessels, including some foreign ones, went missing in the storm. About 100 villages were marooned or washed away by the cyclonic storms and the ensuing floods and a total of 10,841 killed or missing, and 34 lakh rendered homeless. According to the Janata party, at least 50,000 people were believed to have been killed by the storm, substantially higher than reported by the government.
In my father’s locality, severe flooding occurred. Electricity was cut off for several days. There was a shortage of food and other basic necessities like water and medicines. Disaster management was not a well-developed entity during those times. There were no early warning systems, or cyclone shelters which resulted in the higher loss of lives. The apathy of government officials and workers also caused a delay in getting back to normal living conditions.
Rate this question :