The Disaster: As Hudhud gained power over the Indian Ocean in the days before its October 12th landfall, Indian officials knew something huge was heading their way. With sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, an eye over 41 miles wide, and an area almost the size of India, it was the third strongest cyclone to ever hit the country. Although the 66 deaths might seem lower than expected, it caused an estimated 11 billion in damages making it the costliest disaster in the world in 2014. Credit for the low death toll is given to the Indian government’s disaster preparedness plans, initiated after the Super Cyclone Odisha killed 10,000 in 1999. Cyclone Hudhud also contributed to the record snowfall that blanketed Nepal killing 43 hikers.
State of Recovery: Much of the local infrastructure in the state of Andhra Pradesh was damaged with recovery estimated to take several years; hardest hit was the city of Visakhapatnam where communication systems damaged are still being rebuilt and approximately 10,000 homes were destroyed. Basic services have been restored and roads are opened but an estimated 135,000 are still in relief camps.
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