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Disaster Preparedness Measures Save Lives as TC Phailin Hits Eastern India

October 14, 2013

PDC Global Hazards Atlas illustrates Tropical Cyclone Phailin on Saturday, October 12 as it nears the eastern coastlines of India displaying TAOS estimated wind impacts.   

Tropical Cyclone Phailin, the most powerful storm to strike India in 14 years, made landfall along the eastern states of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha (formerly known as Orissa) on Saturday, October 12. As Phailin reached India’s eastern coastline, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), as reported by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), categorized the cyclone as ‘very severe,’ with winds over 125 mph, and a recorded storm surge of 3 to 3.5 meters.

In anticipation for Phailin, Indian authorities implemented various disaster preparedness measures. Early warnings were issued five days before the cyclone’s arrival, emergency response teams, equipment, and food supplies were pre-positioned, and nearly one million people in the storm’s path were evacuated, which ultimately spared countless lives. So far, several cyclone deaths have been reported, but the full scale and impact of Phailin is still being assessed.

During Tropical Cyclone Phailin, PDC provided decision support and situational awareness products, like the estimate of wind impacts model above. 

Despite effective disaster risk reduction efforts, the sheer size and power of Phailin has left approximately 600,000 people homeless after sweeping through 14,000 villages in coastal districts, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). A massive relief effort is underway to distribute food to the estimated one million evacuees, as well as to assist the injured and clear roads. The IFRC reports that communication remains disrupted and roads and electricity have been heavily affected. India’s National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) has deployed 2,000 personnel from the National Disaster Response Forces (NDRF) to Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal to assist with relief operations.

For more information on Tropical Cyclone Phailin:
• View information from the Indian Meteorological Department,
• Read an overview in Relief Web,
• Visit the Thomson Reuters Foundation site for more articles, and
• Find out how the Red Cross is providing assistance.

More from Pacific Disaster Center

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  • For details, see the Training Guide for Web-accessible Disaster Alert,
  • Read and understand more about custom versions, such as DMRS and VinAWARE,
  • Watch the ASEAN DMRS video on YouTube.

About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.