Facing a Category 4 storm packed with destructive winds and torrential rain, the military has mobilised resources on a massive scale to provide humanitarian assistance to an estimated 12 million people likely to be affected — a challenge that will severely test India’s disaster relief capabilities.
Incredible though it may sound, panic hit this coastal village and adjoining Mangamaripeta a mere three hours before cyclone Phailin made landfall.
Cyclone Phailin, which hit the port town of Gopalpur in Odisha around 9pm Saturday, has so far led to the cancellation of more than 180 trains passing through Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Srinand Jha reports.
Monster storm Phailin, the most powerful cyclone in the Bay of Bengal since 1999, ripped into coastal Odisha and Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday, uprooting trees and knocking over homes in an orgy of destruction expected to last well into the night. Priya Ranjan Sahu and KV Lakshmana report.
The railways cancelled 56 trains in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in view of cyclonic storm Phailin, which is set to hit the east coast anytime now.
Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy today said that all measures have been put in place to guarantee that there is minimum damage post the cyclonic storm Phailin.
BJD leader was seen to be the biggest beneficiary of the natural disaster, which killed nearly 10,000 people and led to the downfall of the then-ruling Congress government.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today directed that all possible assistance be extended to the states which are on alert for cyclone 'Phailin' after reviewing the situation soon after his return from an overseas tour.
The powerful winds snapped trees like matchsticks and swept away rooftops besides flattening paddy crop across a large swathe of farmland. In the soapy seas, waves leapt up to 3.5 metres and smashed into the coasts in giant surges.
The South Central Railway (SCR) has activated emergency control rooms at its headquarters in Hyderabad and Vijayawada, besides patrolling of railway tracks, among other measures, to deal with the situation arising out of the cyclonic storm Phailin.
Broken glass pieces, wood shreds and asbestos sheets flew like killer projectiles in these two adjoining cities, moments after the severe cyclone 'Phailin' slammed into Gopalpur beach.
Phailin, a very severe cyclonic storm, said to be the second strongest after the disastrous super-cyclone of 1999, on Saturday struck the Odisha coast, bringing in its wake torrential rains and wind speeds of over 200 kmph in the state and in the neighbouring north coastal Andhra Pradesh.