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Cyclone Hudhud threat to Odisha tourism

Cyclone Hudhud threat to Odisha tourism
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Cyclone Hudhud Threat to Odisha Tourism. Even though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that cyclonic storm \'Hudhud\' in Odisha would be of lesser intensity, the state\'s tourism sector has taken a hit with many tourists cancelling their bookings.

Bhubaneswar: Even though the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted that cyclonic storm 'Hudhud' in Odisha would be of lesser intensity, the state's tourism sector has taken a hit with many tourists cancelling their bookings.

The IMD forecast showed that the cyclonic storm will have an impact on the southern districts of Odisha as it will make landfall around Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh Oct 12.

The Odisha government has asked the district collectors of Ganjam, Gajapati, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nabarangpur, Rayagada, Kalahandi and Kandhamal to evacuate vulnerable people to safe places and cyclone shelters.

As fears mount, many tourists have already left the state.

"The cyclonic storm has hit the tourism and hotel sectors in the state. Generally, tourist inflow increases in the festive season," said Uma Panigrahi, president of the Ganjam Hotel Owners' Association.

"But 'Hudhud' has caused panic among them and they have already left Gopalpur," said Panigrahi.

This is the second year in a row that the hospitality industry is facing severe losses due to nature's fury. Last October, cyclonic storm Phailin hit Gopalpur coast wreaking havoc in the area. Several tourist spots were also damaged.

"The tourism sector was affected after news spread that 'Hudhud' will touch the landmass in Odisha. However, we hope that it will recover as the IMD has indicated that only southern districts will be affected," said K.K. Rao, secretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Odisha (HRAO).

Meanwhile, the Airports Authority of India has cancelled two Indigo flights from Bhubaneswar airport.

The Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam-Chennai and Bhubaneswar-Visakhapatnam-Bengaluru flights have been cancelled, said Bhubaneswar Airport director Sarad Kumar.

Besides, the East Coast Railway also cancelled 40 trains and changed the routes of 35 trains, said a railway official.

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