A 30-foot-high idol of Lord Hanuman stands tall on the premises of the temple in village Iddivanipalem. The rest are all inundated.
Iddivanipalem is a fishing hamlet of some 700 houses, pucca, semi-pucca and thatched houses, jutting out into the Bay of Bengal. By Friday evening all its 2,500 residents had cleared out to a relief camp at a government high school in Boruvanka village, located just 3 km away but relatively safe.
But standing guard over mechanised boats, trawlers and nets and staring at the sea in all its fury was a group of some 50 youngsters under the charge of village elder V Rama Rao.
“We were scared and ran to escape the huge waves touching the top of the 10-foot-high concrete shore shelter built by the fisheries department,” said B Bheema Rao, a villager whose boat was among the five that lay strewn in the village at a distance of 600 metres.
Community leader Iddi Balaraju said, “We do not know how many boats have been destroyed as the advancing sea seemed to devour them.”
Search teams are out moving along the coastline.
For Bheema Rao, an equal challenge is food. “All womenfolk were at a shelter and no one was there to cook for us — some leftovers saved us.”