Cyclone impact spreads, thousands stranded by floods

Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:39am IST

Fishermen and their family members repair the roof of their houses at the cyclone-hit Nalianuagaon village in Ganjam district in Odisha October 15, 2013. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

Fishermen and their family members repair the roof of their houses at the cyclone-hit Nalianuagaon village in Ganjam district in Odisha October 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Related Topics

BHUBANESWAR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Thousands of people were left stranded by floods on Tuesday as the powerful cyclone which pounded the east coast over the weekend moved inland, bringing heavy rains and hindering rescue and relief operations, aid workers and officials said.

Cyclone Phailin, India's fiercest storm in 14 years, smashed into the coastline of Odisha on Saturday, inundating large swathes of farmland, ripping apart mud-and-thatch homes and disrupting power and telecoms services.

Even as Phailin weakened while moving across the country from the Bay of Bengal, its incessant rains caused major rivers and tributaries to overflow, submerging villages and stranding thousands of people, aid agency officials said.

"Along the coast, we experienced the cyclonic winds which have left millions of people in need of emergency aid. Now the rains are flooding other parts and we have to respond there," said Mangla Mohanty, head of the Indian Red Cross in Odisha.

"It's very challenging. Those affected by flooding are equally vulnerable and we have to stretch our resources and ensure all those that need help get it."

More than 250,000 people were stranded on Monday when rivers broke their embankments and swamped large tracts of land in districts such as Balasore, Mayurbhanj and Bhadrak.

Many areas were inaccessible by road, forcing emergency teams to use boats to rescue people and deliver relief supplies. Helicopters dropped dry food packets to marooned survivors, many of whom had taken refuge from six-feet-deep water on the rooftops of buildings.

"About 20,000 people still remained marooned here. More people are likely to be affected as the waters may flood more areas," said Balasore Revenue Divisional Commissioner Arabinda Kumar Padhee. "The situation remains grim."

Five people were killed by the floods in Odisha and seven in the neighbouring state of Bihar, which is on high alert after experiencing incessant rains. The total death toll from Phailin now stands at 33.

Authorities in Bihar said the constant rain of the past 36 hours had disrupted road and rail services and led to power blackouts in some parts of the state.

"We have issued an alert across the state and directed the district magistrates (administrative heads) to be ready with rescue teams," said Vyasji, Bihar's disaster management secretary.

(Additional reporting by Nita Bhalla in NEW DELHI and Manoj Chaurasia in PATNA; writing by Nita Bhalla)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Healthcare Corruption

TOP SHOWCASE

The Food Court

The Food Court

Restaurant run by Tihar convicts wins praise for politeness, hygiene.  Full Article 

Repaying Investors

Repaying Investors

Supreme Court could allow Sahara boss to conduct asset sale talks, company says.  Full Article 

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

Lupin, U.S. firms weigh bids for GSK's mature drugs: sources.  Full Article 

Female Foeticide

Female Foeticide

India faces crisis over dwindling numbers of girls, U.N. says.  Full Article 

Indian Markets

Indian Markets

India most optimistic consumer market - Nielsen.  Full Article 

No Ceasefire

No Ceasefire

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts.  Full Article 

Final Journey

Final Journey

Train carrying MH17 bodies on final journey reaches Ukraine city.  Full Article 

Transfer Season

Transfer Season

Real Madrid sign Colombian Rodriguez.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage