News / Asia

India Marshalls Cyclone Disaster Relief

  • Fisherwomen and a girl stand in front of damaged house after Cyclone Phailin hit Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Oct. 14, 2013.
  • Fishermen clear debris from their damaged houses after Cyclone Phailin hit Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Oct. 14, 2013.
  • Boats are seen on an eroded shore after Cyclone Phailin hit Puri in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Oct. 14, 2013.
  • People crowd to buy gas after a fuel station resumed its services in Berhampur in Ganjam district, Orissa state, India, Oct. 14, 2013.
  • Boys sleep on the floor of a wedding hall after leaving their house to take shelter from Cyclone Phailin, in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • A man covers himself with a plastic sheet during heavy rain brought by Cyclone Phailin in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • Men try to remove fallen trees from a road due to the rain and wind in the eastern Indian state of Odisha, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • A man covers himself with a plastic sheet near Gopalpur junction in Ganjam district, about 200 kilometers from the eastern Indian city Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • People walk among debris from a broken wall after it was damaged by a wave brought by Cyclone Phailin at a fishing harbor in Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, Oct. 12, 2013.
  • A big wave smashes into a breakwater at a fishing harbor in Jalaripeta in Visakhapatnam district in Andhra Pradesh, Oct. 11, 2013.

Cyclone Phailin Bears Down on India

Anjana Pasricha
In eastern India officials are preparing a massive disaster relief operation to cope with a fierce cyclone that tore inland from the Bay of Bengal, leaving tens of thousands of people in shelters  while waiting for the country's deadliest storm in over a decade to pass.

As the storm slammed the coast near Gopalpur in Orissa state Saturday night, winds with speeds of 200 kilometers per hour and incessant rain lashed the region.
 
Rickshaw driver plows through heavy rain in Berhampur, about 180 kilometres south of Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12, 2013.Rickshaw driver plows through heavy rain in Berhampur, about 180 kilometres south of Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12, 2013.
x
Rickshaw driver plows through heavy rain in Berhampur, about 180 kilometres south of Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12, 2013.
Rickshaw driver plows through heavy rain in Berhampur, about 180 kilometres south of Bhubaneswar, Oct. 12, 2013.
Trees were uprooted, electric poles snapped and many areas were plunged into darkness as the power went off.
 
The chief of India’s Metrological Department, L.S. Rathore, said that the storm will continue for many hours.
 
“Another 24 hours rain will be there," he said. "Now it will depend as to how rain is impacting. On different terrains it will have different bearing and so and so forth and how much damage it causes.”
 
Officials said that the full extent of damage the cyclone causes will be difficult to assess until the morning.
 
Millions in storm's path
 
More than 10 million people live in the path of the storm in two eastern Indian states — Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
 
About a half-million people living in villages along the coast were evacuated to shelters set up in schools and government buildings, while others hunkered down in their homes waiting for the cyclone to pass.
      
Evacuated Indian villagers watch the storm from a temporary shelter in Chatrapur, India, Oct. 12, 2013.
Evacuated Indian villagers watch the storm from a temporary shelter in Chatrapur, India, Oct. 12, 2013.

By Saturday night, reports of some deaths began trickling in. Local media reported several deaths and said that 18 fishermen were missing at sea.
 
The storm is expected to be less intense than a massive one which struck the region in 1999, causing widespread damage and killing 10,000 people.
 
Authorities say they are much better prepared to cope with the cyclone this time, but Rathore warns that the storm has massive potential for damage.
 
“Though with landfall, the winds will start reducing, the peak wind may be even if I presume 210-215 (kilometers per hour), every hour there will be decline till it remains (120 kilometers per hour), we definitely call it a very severe cyclone storm.”
 
The army, navy and air force are on standby to assist with rescue and relief operations.
 
Vice Chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Marri Shashidhar Reddy said the priority is to minimize the loss of life, and that his organization has deployed about 60 rescue teams.
 
“The state government ... will be there with their resources; the army, they will be there with their resources," he said. "It will be on a war footing as and when things require clearing and other things.”
 
Tarpaulin sheets, dry food rations, medical kits and water purification tablets have been stocked in the region as officials brace for widespread power failures and flooding of roads and rail lines as the storm passes the region.

You May Like

Official: S. Sudan President, Rebel Leader to Meet in Tanzania

Talks part of effort to end conflict in country that has left more than 10,000 people dead, displaced more than 1.5 million others More

Dutch Deny Link to Mystery Submarine Off Sweden

Netherlands denies Russian claim that 'foreign vessel' photographed in waters off Sweden could be Dutch More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ramnarayan from: Florida, USA
October 12, 2013 4:37 PM
Good luck to those poor folks. I hope the Govt. of India takes care of the people who can't take care of themselves.

In Response

by: jazz from: usa
October 25, 2013 7:12 PM
omg!!!!!!! i feel so sorry i hope they get help

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid