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 Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes 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.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More