Cyclone Hudhud to make landfall in India

India faces monster cyclone Hudhud Sunday

October 9, 2014

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System has issued a red alert for India as Tropical Cyclone Hudhud approaches.

The alert, issued on Wednesday, is in effect until Friday. With landfall expected over the weekend, a new alert will likely be issued.

Millions of people in India are in the path of Tropical Cyclone Hudhud, which is strengthening as it churns over the Bay of Bengal in the northern Indian Ocean basin.

Hudhud has moved closer to the coast of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh and will turn into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 12 hours, the India Meteorological Department said.

India’s port city of Visakhapatnam, home to two million people, is in the direct line of Tropical Cyclone Hudhud.

Hudhud, also known by its alphanumeric designation 03B, formed Tuesday evening U.S. time near the Andaman Islands, about 400 miles southwest of Yangon, Myanmar. The developing cyclone dumped torrential rainfall on those islands, with Port Blair reporting 9.76 inches in the period ending at 11 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

As residents prepare for the storm, the Times of India reports “the prices of vegetables have increased by 40 percent since Monday” and “some items like candles have vanished from shops.”

Along with the threats of storm surge flooding and high winds, torrential rain over 10 inches in some spots generally along and to the northeast of the path of Hudhud will trigger dangerous flash flooding.

It was exactly a year ago that Cyclone Phailin moved over roughly the same stretch of water, making landfall in India’s Odisha state on Oct. 12. The storm claimed 44 lives, but was considered an overwhelming success in India’s attempts to implement emergency preparedness plans. Over one million people were evacuated ahead of the storm and the death toll was far smaller that that of a similar tropical cyclone in 1999, which claimed some 10,000 lives.

Once it makes landfall possible early Sunday, the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center expects Hudhud to dissipate and become the equivalent of a Category 3 hurricane.

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