In the midst of this devastation, one of the largest weather systems to hit India in recent years, there appears to be a success story. The Indian government’s mass evacuation of the East coast looks like it’s saved thousands of lives. Now the re-build must begin.
|Cyclone Phailin punching west,
southpaw storm-surge hammering the coast
between Odisha and Andrha Pradesh.
Evacuate, escape, flee inland,
Don’t look back, leave doubt behind,
Hunker down behind closed doors,
Sit it out, bide your time, ride the storm,
Return, distraught at the apocalyptic scene,
Your tears dispel the anger, unfold the pain.
13th October 2013 – headline from the Guardian
Notes: “Cyclone Phailin: 500,000 homes evacuated as storm pounds India.” Mass evacuation of towns and villages on India’s eastern coast limited the death toll as 135mph winds forced huge waves inland. Towns and villages have been flooded and thousands of homes destroyed after a super-cyclone crashed ashore in eastern India. But initial indications suggested few people had died after more than 500,000 had left the region before the storm hit. The vast weather system – cyclone Phailin – generated winds of up to 135mph (220km/h) and forced huge waves far inland before it struck the shores of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh states late on Saturday. But the storm weakened as it made landfall. Officials said they knew of only seven fatalities but the final death toll is expected to climb, and parts of the cyclone-battered coast remain isolated by broken communication links and blocked roads. Initial indications were that the government’s evacuation operation saved many lives.