Even as state authorities tried their best to restrict human casualties due to cyclone Hudhud in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha on Sunday, revellers made their task tougher by ignoring all warnings to catch a glimpse of the rough sea.
Many were seen taking selfies despite the police warning at the Rama Krishna beach in Vizag. The very severe cyclonic storm Hudhud had made a landfall at about 11 am just north of the city.
For Shiva and Shashank, both 20-years-old, this was the first time the sea presented its fierce face. “It is awesome experiencing this storm. The sea for us was never like this before,” said the engineering students.
The Vizag beach police had a tough time stopping the crowds from going close to the sea. S Girija (40) too came with her husband to the beach ignoring the risk. “For us too, this experience is a first.”
“The cyclonic affect would also last till evening. I have warned people but in the end, it is their call,” one police inspector said.
In Odisha, implementing the state government’s ‘zero casualty’ stand, the district administration took all precautions at Gopalpur, the beach resort where cyclone Phailin had made landfall a year ago.
For the last two days, the administration moved around the beach requesting people to vacate the area. But that did not stop revellers, who came with their families and even children. Along with OB vans of media houses, hundreds of vehicles were seen parked at the beach.
On Sunday, police officers kept blowing whistles and waving batons to drive people away from the beach but to no avail. “We have come to Gopalpur after a long time. How can we go back without enjoying our time on the beach,” said Atanu Ghosh, a tourist from West Bengal.
A middle aged couple from England said the police came to their hotel in Gopalpur and asked them to vacate their room on Saturday, but they shifted to Berhampur instead to see the cyclone.
“People became carefree because reports had suggested the impact of Hudhud will be negligible. But when something goes wrong, we face the music,” a police officer added.