A category 5__ the most severe__ cyclone named Phailin originating from the bay of Bengal, is now moving eastwards towards the states of Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Aandhra Pradesh in India. The National Disaster Management Authority(NDMA) of India has issued a press release to the public of these regions to remain inside their houses. The cyclone is expected to be accompanied with wind of speeds of 136 mph and heavy to very heavy rainfall.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of India, as these storms are expected during this time of the year, this year they are well prepared to meet any untoward consequences because of the cyclonic storm, but only time will tell whether they were well prepared or not.
The cyclone Phailin is to hit the states of Odisha and Andra Pradesh the hardest. In view of this over 1600 strong National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) personnel have been deployed along the coastal belt of Aandhra Pradesh. According to the public warning of the the meteorological department of India, the cyclone would severely hit the coastal village of Gopalpur in the state of Aandhra Pradesh.
The warning issued by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), stresses the fishermen, not to go any where near the sea and to remain inside their houses. But the paradox is that the ocher, mud thatched houses of these poor fishermen can barely stem the ferocity of a storm of this magnitude.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 500,000 people have already been evacuated and taken to save places. Relief efforts are also underway, both by the government agencies and the private non-profit organisations to help those in need. It is so because in the wake of a category 5 storm, heavy damage is a natural corollary.
Very severe storms like Phailin cause heavy and in some cases irreparable damage to life and property. In the wake of Phailin the damage is expected to run into billions of rupees, due to the natural consequences, like disruption of electricity, and damage to communication networks, including the railway tracks and the roads, mainly caused by extensive flooding.
The flying debris is also a main cause of worry and one of the major causes of damage to life and property during cyclones. In addition Phailin, is expected to cause extensive damage to the standing crops, adding to the plight of the already suffering people.
According to the United States Navy’s Joint Warning System, the category 5 cyclone Phailin will be accompanied by gusts with the intensity of 186 miles per hour, that is about 296 kilometers per hour.
The cyclone Phailin is not an anomaly but a routine occurrence as storms of this severity and ferocity hit India and Bangladesh during the time period from the month of April to November, causing wide scale damage to life and property. A similar cyclone named Thane hit southern state of Tamil Nadu in 2011.
Though, at present there are reports of 18 deaths and none missing but the death toll is estimated to rise phenomenally, as is the number of the injured and the missing. Due to Phailin the government has declared a state of emergency in order to effectively meet any eventuality in the above named states in east India.
Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada