THE number of deaths caused by the latest cyclone to hit India
is "minimal" charities say, after nearly 900,000 people were
evacuated from their homes in advance of the storm's hitting the
About 22 people are known to have died in the wake of Cyclone
Phailin, the strongest storm in the region in 14 years, which made
landfall over India on Saturday night.
Nearly a million people have been displaced from their homes,
and tens of thousands more marooned by flood waters in the state of
Charities are beginning to hand out emergency supplies.
Christian Aid said that, although the mass evacuation had been
successful, there was still "mass humanitarian need".
More than 230,000 houses were destroyed up to 25 km inland, and
more than 300,000 hectares of crops ready for harvest, including
rice, maize, and vegetables, have been washed away.
Christian Aid's emergency programme officer, Yeeshu Shukla, who
is out in the eastern state of Odisha, said: "There are immediate
needs in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, especially for food and
shelter. Food is being distributed, but there's an issue of access
to many communities that are now cut off. Clean drinking water is
also scarce, and 30,000 coconut trees, that thousands of people
rely on for livelihoods, have been uprooted."
Electricity and phone lines are down in the region. World
Vision's India team are handing out food, including sacks of
"The government has plans for rehabilitation. It is now time for
the civil society and organisations like World Vision to support
them in this. We will try to focus on livelihood and ensuring that
children can go to school as soon as possible," the national
director of World Vision India, Dr Jayakumar Christian, said.
World Vision had trained com-munities in advance of the cyclone
on disaster preparedness, which included ensuring that families
with livestock knew how to protect their animals from the storm. "I
feel a sense of satisfaction for having done my bit towards
bringing awareness about the cyclone," a community taskforce
member, Uma Pradham, said.
Relief teams from Gospel for Asia (GFA) have distributed clean
water, medical supplies, clothing, and food, while assessing the
long-range needs of people who will have to reconstruct their