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 One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs