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

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    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.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora