Very Severe Cyclone 'Phailin' - 08Oct-15Oct2013

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Cyclone 'Phailin', a category 4 storm hit the densely populated Indian state of Odisha on 12Oct2013 at around 9.15pm. Thanks largely to modern technology and better disaster preparedness, the cyclone caused minimal loss of human life even though the damage to infrastructure, crops and livelihoods has been huge. SaveTheHills has put up this slide show with a view to raise awareness on extreme events which are increasing in frequency and strength probably due to climate change and callous anthropogenic activity.

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Very Severe Cyclone ‘Phailin’ 08Oct-15Oct2013 Presents

Fact sheet:

Fact sheet Very Severe Cyclone ‘ Phailin’ (or ‘Sapphire’ in Thai) was the most powerful storm to hit the eastern Indian coastline in over a decade. The last one being 1999 supercyclone, which killed almost 10,000 people in the Indian state of Odisha. The cyclone started as a depression in the Bay of Bengal on 08Oct2013 near the Andaman islands and intensified to become a tropical cyclone by 09Oct2013. Cat IV storm ‘Phailin’ struck the Odisha coastline at around 09:15pm on 120ct2013 with a speed of around 210 km/h. It made landfall at Gopalpur. It was 250km wide and was carrying moisture sucked in from an area which was almost half the size of India in the Bay of Bengal . ‘Phailin’ forced India to conduct its largest storm evacuation ever - with over a 10,00,000 people being moved to shelters. While there was enormous damage in terms of economic loss/ damage to crops/infrastructure, there was minimal loss of life – the death toll being 25 in Odisha.

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1999 - t he 14 districts of Odisha which were affected by the Super Cyclone

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Wind / Rainfall data for Bhubaneshwar in the Khurda district 12/13Oct2013

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IMetD , on 13Oct2013 predicted that the very severe cyclonic storm would move north w estwards as it weakened. On 14Oct2013 however, the storm (which had now been downgraded to a deep depression) moved north eastward bringing incessant rain in Jharkhand, Bihar, parts of Nepal, Sikkim and SHWB ( Sub Himalayan West Bengal ) Source :- www.downtoearth.org

IR Images of Cyclone ‘Phailin’:

IR Images of Cyclone ‘ Phailin ’ 09Oct2013 – 15Oct2013

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IMetD bulletin dtd 09Oct2013: Deep depression intensifies into Cyclone ‘ Phailin ’

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The difference between Oct1999 Supercyclone and Oct2013, Very Severe Cyclone ‘ Phailin ’ The 1999 supercyclone lay stationary at coastline for almost 11 hours causing massive amounts of damage. It made landfall 30hrs after the prediction. ‘Phailin’ on the other hand made landfall almost exactly where predicted, just 3hrs after the time/date forecast by IMetD. Cyclones normally lose a lot of their intensity/destructive power after landfall and moving inland. Better Disaster Preparedness : Odisha now has 247 cyclone shelters in the coastal districts with almost another 200 under construction. In 1999 there were hardly any shelters approx 45,000 people took shelter in 23 red cross cyclone shelters. Since 2006 the NDMA conducts mock drills every year on June19th in the cyclone prone coastal districts of Odisha creating awareness and resilience amongst communities. OSDRAF/APSDRF/NDRF/OSAP : The various state and government agencies along with NGO’s carried out the mammoth task of evacuating approx 10,00,0000 people to safer areas and shelters. Improvements in weather forecasting technology : Advances in technology have made weather forecasting more accurate enabling more precise predictions and with access to the Internet even a layman has access to such information from website like http://www.imd.gov.in/ (IMetD) , http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/ (Joint Typhoon Warning Center) etc.

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Contd. Steeper continental shelf : Phailin struck land about 100 miles south of its predecessor where the continental shelf is a lot steeper , so there was less low lying terrain vulnerable to storm surge. Early warning : Preparations for Landfall of the cyclone started from 09Oct2013 with the Odisha government issuing a red alert in 14 districts. Dussehra holidays for all government employees were cancelled. ‘Phailin’ claimed 21 lives directly, while floods caused by the cyclone claimed another 17 in Odisha. The low casualty rate can definitely be credited to better preparation. What remains to be seen now, is how effectively the government handles the relief and rehabilitation process with 200,000 houses being destroyed, 0.5 million hectares of ripe paddy fields being damaged (Crop loss estimated at Rs.2,300 Crores) and damage to the power infrastructure pegged at over a 1000 crores. IR Images from http://www.imd.gov.in/ Other Maps from http://www.osdma.org/ (Source:-www.downtoearth.org)

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