Combat it well
Cyclone Hudhud has hit Visakhapatnam, Andhra’s big city. Home to two million people and a major naval base, Visakhapatnam’s many streets have since then been strewn with upended trees, shards of glass, heaps of damaged brick and mortar and also dangling electricity and telephone wires. Fortunately since last year’s Cyclone Phailin and this year’s Hudhud, evacuation processes were initiated much in advance and almost nine lakh people have thus been saved from being imminent fatalities. However, the need for better preparedness, in times like these cannot still be ruled out and a classic example is that of the Kashmir floods, which had the entire country on the edges of their seats as more and more ghastly scenes emerged. How vigilant the state and national government’s were could be deduced from the fact that the country’s premier disaster management authority NDMA was conspicuous by its absence and till the very end it was reported that because of a leadership crisis, the agency was not able to channelise efforts in providing rescue and rehabilitation services to the scores who had been left completely devastated. It therefore could be a boon that till now, Hudhud has only reported three casualties but it is also cannot be negated that repercussions of natural disasters like these can only be quantified once all signs of it causing damage are found to be non-existent. Case in point is that of Cyclone 05B which had hit the same coastline 15 years ago and had left almost 10,000 dead. If the house is to be set in order and further mishaps be prevented, it becomes imperative for not only the state but also the central government to take some strict measures or else this hara-kiri would always continue. In circumstances like these it becomes more than necessary to wake the NDMA from its deepest of slumbers and make it realise the enormity of the job as also make it understand that the Army or the other defence forces cannot become the fulcrums of relief operations always.