HelpAge India responds to cyclone Phailin


Ganesh and his wife in Daruthenga village, India Ganesh and his wife in Daruthenga village, India (c) HelpAge India By Sarah Marzouk

On Saturday 12 October, cyclone Phailin crashed into the north eastern coast of India, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

The cyclone hit on Saturday evening, with winds of about 200 km per hour (125mph).

A large scale evacuation ensured that the loss of life was minimal. The death toll currently stands at 18.

This compares to a cyclone of similar strength in the same region in 1999, which killed around 10,000 people.

The low numbers of fatalities demonstrate the Indian Government's remarkable efforts in disaster management. However, damage to the property, crops and livelihoods of millions of people in Odisha state is severe.

Indeed, estimates suggest that up to 12 million have been affected by the cyclone. 2013 UN population data also estimates that 16.7% of India's population are aged 50 or over. Based on these figures therefore, two million of those affected could be older men and women.

The cyclone is currently advancing inland. It is causing heavy rains in Bihar, where around 5 million people live along the banks of the Koshi and Gandak rivers that could now flood.

The response

Our sister organisation, HelpAge India is responding to the disaster by deploying mobile medical units to those older people affected.

They are carrying out needs assessments, liaising with the state and district authorities to determine the most urgent needs of people hit by the cyclone.

Relief and rehabilitation work is taking place in 13 districts where people have been affected by Phailin.

HelpAge India teams are visiting areas of Khordha, Kendrapada, Cuttack and Keonjhar districts to support the work on the ground, and to make a rapid assessment of the situation. 

They will also send a team to the worst-affected areas in Ganjam district to assess the present situation.

Donate now

In the UK

Our UK sister organisation, Age International has launched an emergency appeal.

Outside of the UK

Our sister organisation in India, HelpAge India, is responding to the cyclone.

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