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Saturday, October 12, 2013

In the Eye of Cyclone Phailin

New Delhi: Cyclone Phailin hovered over the shores of Odisha and northern Andhra Pradesh late on Saturday and was forecast to churn the coastal districts for six hours with fierce winds of over 200 kph, surging sea level and giant waves, but largescale evacuation of people is expected to minimise the impact. 

    The storm uprooted trees, sent hoardings flying, and snapped telecommunication and power supply, leaving vast areas pitch dark. The most menacing storm to hit India in 14 years is expected to rattle the coastal region until Sunday. "The intensity will continue until Sunday morning, but will slowly mellow down by Monday morning. With the tide rising up to 3-3.5 metres, sea water could enter in land up to 300-600 metres. The Ganjam area will be maximum hit due to this," said India Meteorology Department director general LS Rathore. Ganjam, Puri, Khurda and Jagatsinghpur districts are also vulnerable, he said. 
    Phailin's trajectory and intensity are similar to the super-cyclone of 1999 that killed 10,000 people in Odisha. However, authorities are much better prepared to deal with Phailin as they are equipped with much better communication systems and have evacuated lakhs of people in low-lying areas which are most vulnerable.







Clockwise from above: Strong winds hit Gopalpur in Odisha; evacuated villagers in a temporary shelter in the state; fishing vessels return in Visakhapatnam — Agencies


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