Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The chief of India's top investigation agency has said he regretted his remark on rape after criticism from women's groups.

Ranjit Sinha made the remark while speaking on illegal sports betting.
"If you cannot enforce the ban on betting, it is like saying 'if you can't prevent rape, you enjoy it'," he said at a meeting on sports ethics.
Women leaders like Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said Mr Sinha's remarks were "shocking".
Mr Sinha, the director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), later said he regretted "any hurt" caused by his "inadvertent and unintended remarks".
"I gave my opinion that betting should be legalised and that if the laws cannot be enforced that does not mean that laws should not be made. This is as erroneous as saying that if rape is inevitable one should lie back and enjoy it," he said in a statement on Wednesday.
"I regret any hurt caused as the same was inadvertent and unintended. I reiterate my deep sense of regard and respect for women and commitment to gender issues."
Women activists had criticised Mr Sinha's comments and demanded that he resign.
'Malicious propaganda'
"It is sickening that a man, who is in charge of several rape investigations, should use such an analogy. He should be prosecuted for degrading and insulting women," Ms Brinda Karat told The Hindu newspaper.
Ranjana Kumari of the Delhi-based Centre for Social Research told The Hindustan Times newspaper that "such a senior police officer... should not have passed such a remark".
"It is not acceptable and he should apologise for it. It has become a habit of people in senior positions to treat the issue of sexual assault lightly."
Activist Kavita Krishnan told the BBC Hindi that if the head of India's main investigating agency "doesn't understand the difference between rape and enjoyment, then he should step down from his position".
On Tuesday, Mr Sinha told The Hindustan Times that he was "using a proverb" to "make a point" about "how difficult it was to enforce a ban on betting".
"[The reaction to the remark is] malicious propaganda, it's hitting below the belt, and it's unfair," he told the newspaper in New Delhi.
The issue of sexual violence against women in India has been under intense scrutiny since the gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus in December led to widespread protests.

 source:BBC NEWS

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Rain and flood continue to disturb normal life in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: 27/10/13: Rain and flood continue to disturb normal life in Odisha. It has lashed about 10 districts of the state, thrown the lives of people of over four thousand six hundred villages out of gear. There is no respite from incessant rain lashing several parts of the state for the past five days under the influence of low pressure and the north east Monsoon.
The low pressure induced rain caused fresh flood in Budhabalanga river in Mayubhanj district and Rusukulia river of Ganjam district yesterday as it received over 30 centimeters rainfall during the past 24 hours.
The government has been able to evacuate about 2 lakh 30 thousand people marooned in flood waters in different areas of the state like Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri and Khordha. The post-phailin second spell of flood has not only literally played spoilsport with the people of Odisha when the 5th ODI between India and Australia in Cuttack was called off  yesterday, but metaphorically as well it has caused heavy casualties in the shape of loss of human and cattle lives, extensive damage of standing crops and collapse of thousands of huts, homes and houses across the state. 
Crops over 564,000 hectares destroyed – the floods in the state are getting worse by the hour. And the deluge can only get worse, with more rains expected in the next 48 hours.
The death toll went up to 19 due to rain related incidents in the state. Rivers and rivulets are flowing to their brim due to heavy inflows due to which several more villages are facing a threat of flood. The authorities are evacuating people from low lying areas especially those who are closer to the river banks government official said today.
And in neighboring West Bengal, torrential rains flooded streets, uprooted trees and sent houses crashing that took two lives.
Road and rail routes have been badly hit huge stretches of train tracks are under water, so are parts of the NH-5 and SHs. Overall, 1533 km of roads have been damaged.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Thousands of people remain marooned at several places in flood affected coastal districts of Odisha

Bhubaneswar: 26.10.13: The current spell of floods deluged vast areas close on the heels of the very severe cyclone of October 12 and resultant floods devastated coastal Odisha. 
At least 25 people have lost their lives due to fresh floods in Odisha. Floods, triggered by low pressure induced rain, have devastated cyclone-hit Ganjam and other coastal districts. Over 5 lakh people in more than 2,000 villages have been affected by the floods, while around 1.5 lakh people have been evacuated to safety. All rivers in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nayagarh districts are in spate. Special Relief Commissioner, P K Mohapatra said adding two others died due to wall collapse in those areas.

"Rail services disrupted with flood water flowing over tracks at several places and road transport stalled as over thousand Kilometres long roads washed away across the state. Low laying areas at numerous places were flooded. Thousands of villages and city in state marooned in especially north and south coastal districts and some parts of costal region.
State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister SN Patro said, helicopters have been pressed into service in the worst-hit Ganjam district. He said, a tie up with the Indian Air Force has been done to move NDRF battalions to different places. Patro also said, that thousands of people are trapped in the flood waters in the Aska, Sorada, Hinjili, Sergarh, Belaguntha, Rangelunda blocks Ganjam and Kasinagar,Mohana blocks of Gajapati district. Flood waters have submerged railway tracks at many places.All rivers in Ganjam, Gajapati, Rayagada and Nayagarh districts were overflowing, he added.
Besides Ganjam, districts like Khurda, Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur districts were also affected by floods.
As flood waters submerged railway track at many places, all trains to south India from Bhubaneswar and Puri tomorrow have been cancelled, East Coast Railway sources said.
Nine persons sheltering on a tree near Aska were rescued last night with the NDRF and ODRF on the job, Ganjam Collector Dr. Kishan Kumar said.
Many places have now become inaccessible and relief teams could only reach them after the waters receded.
The state government announced closure of schools and colleges in coastal districts in view of the floods.

Though the intensity of rain was likely to decline, there was heavy rain in the catchment areas of rivers like Rushikulya,Mahindratanaya, Budhabalang and Baitarani, Director of the IMD centre here, Sarat Chandra Sahu said.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Odisha: 10 people killed, 1.5 lakh others affected due to flash floods

Ten people have been killed and 1.5 lakh others have been affected due to flash floods in Odisha. Around 129 villages were flooded due to the continuous rain for four days in Ganjam district of Odisha. The One Day Cricket match between India and Australia which is to be held on Saturday in Cuttack is likely to be cancelled. The Government of Odisha said that schools and colleges in all 12 flood affected districts will be closed till Monday. Train services from Khurda to Vishakhapatnam have been badly hit.

According to the special relief commissioner, PK Mohapatra, "Following heavy rain for four days, water level in rivers in south Odisha are above danger level and have entered many villages". The blocks affected in flash flood include Chikiti, Hinjili, Sana Khemundi, Patrapur, Dharakote, Aska, Parlakhemundi, Mohana. Some areas of Gajapati district were also reported to have been affected. He added that the collectors of all coastal districts have been directed to evacuate people from low-lying areas. Two persons have died in wall collapse due to rain in Khallikote and Rangeilunda since yesterday, district emergency officer Mahendra Panda said. About 40,000 marooned people had been evacuated from Patrapur, Sana Khemundi, Chikiti, Digappahandi, Hinjili, Sheragada and Purushottampur in Ganjam, he said. Another 10,000 people were evacuated from Gajapati district, the special relief commissioner's office said. With rivers like Rusikulya, Bansadhara and Ghodahada rising due to non-stop rain for the last four days, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik directed the administration to provide cooked food to the people in relief camps, Mohapatra said.

"The flash flood has hampered relief and restoration work in places worst-affected by the cyclone," Revenue and Disaster Management minister SN Patro said. Some evacuated people have already been sent to relief camps following cyclone Phailin that struck Gopalpur on October 12, with the state government deploying personnel of NDRF, OFRAF and fire services for evacuation, Patro said. Another 80,000 houses have collapsed in the torrential rain, Mohapatra said, adding that the total number of houses damaged in both cyclone and flood in Ganjam has risen to 3.40 lakh.

Meanwhile, the local unit of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy rain in central and interior districts. A well marked low pressure area now lay over coastal Andhra Pradesh and adjoining areas of Telangana and Rayalaseema area, the latest bulletin said. Rain or thundershower would occur at most places over Odisha in next the 24 hours, it added. 

Continuous Raining in Cyclone-hit Districts

It continues to rain miserly in Ganjam, Puri, Kurdha, Cuttuck, Gajapati and Balasore. A lot of relief work is being affected by the same. It has caused more floods in some of the areas. The communication is blocked. Roads are damaged. Trains are diverted to different rout.

Bishop Sarat Chandra Nayak of Berhampur of Southern Odisha informs that he is one of the stranded persons in that region and was supposed to return back to Berhampur - Gopalpur, a worst hit of Phailin yesterday; he is quite secured but is not able to come out of that region even though he tried several routes. Since these are hilly areas; water does not get stagnated. There are signs of water receding. It is replay of northern Odisha like Balesore; after Phailin, flood.


Dalit and Adivasi’s livelihoods being discriminated

Rain and wind lashed Odisha and nearly 900,000 people fled to cyclone shelters after the government clams, issued a red alert and warned of severe damage when one of the largest storms the country has ever seen makes Phailin landfall later on Saturday.
People gathered at community hall, school and religious houses in Odisha state, praying Cyclone Phailin would not be as devastating as a similar storm that killed 10,000 people 14 years ago.
The Phailin hits many Tribal and Dalit as a result of lose their houses and no work for  daily laborers in Odisha, Even the relief has not reached to them, due to which they have to migrate to other parts of the state and the country.
Mostly tribal and dalit work as daily wage laborers which make them dependent on other communities for employment. Many of the tribal and dalit who are engaged in agricultural occupations and have their own lands are losing their lands as they have been damaged of crops from their cultivable land due to the heavy rain effect of Phailin hits.
Many of them are not allowed to enter the common evacuate centre at under Patamundai PS, Kendrapada district. Even their livestock was washed by the flood. Many such incidences find a place in the state, giving us a picture of how people lost their jobs and are unable to find other livelihoods Mr.Tapan Samal from Kendrapada district said.
“The situation is turning very shaky. Putrefaction of animal cadaver, rotting of uprooted trees, Drinking water and open defecation lacking toilets now threaten outbreak of epidemics. But the Government does not appear to be serious to address these problems,” he added.
“Everyone was focusing on the coastal evacuations and relief and recovery along the coast and we weren’t prepared for the Phailin hits in our areas as well as not told to our community regarding Phailin,” Mr.Buri Nayak from Kandhamal district, a victim surviver said. 
Besides, we could find already there are evidences of discrimination in evacuation shelter, relief and other support. Like Gajapati and Kandhamal district; not only government but also local media; even Global NGOs have blacked out. There is more than 60 percentage of the population belongs to these communities in the state.
During the recent twin calamity of cyclone and flood hits dalit, tribal and minorities are the worst affected even though the lives are restricted to 38. In the disaster, only these communities are the worst off as their muddy houses are destroyed along their crops.

            So also, there are no standardized policies for support is seen. It is left to each district administration and local officials to report or not; we need to work out for the same as a Human Rights Activist Ajay Kumar Singh said.

With the financial toll from Phailin expected to 200,000 rupees to the families of each of the 25 victims, it remains to be seen whether authorities will commit the money required to replace the hundreds of fishing vessels lost.” That is a lot of money. Which we cannot afford this much,” Mr.B.Simadari President of Fishing Community of Ganjam District said.”It is quite visible from the destruction around that our village bore the maximum brunt but we don’t want to be dependent on the government. That would make us useless,” Mr.B.Simadari added

Monday, 21 October 2013

Cyclone and Flood situation assessment report

        Sever Cyclonic storm Phailin, which forced the highest evacuation in the history has played its havoc in coastal areas of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. A total of approximately more than eight lakh people are evacuated to cyclone centres and public schools. It disrupted the communication lines before weakening considerably on today morning. It made the land fall around 09.00 pm at Goaplpur continued for six hours with sever wind and rain in many districts of Odisha. 
     The affected districts are Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri,Kandhamal, Khorda, Nayaghargh, Bhadrak, Balasore, Keonjhar etc. Even though the speed of the wind has considerably gone down, still it is in the speed of 60 KMPH. Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri were some of the most affected districts by this devastating cyclone. Continuous rain from 11th night onwards is continuing in almost in many district of the state.
       According to Pradipta Kumar Mahapatra, the Special Relief Commissioner, "out of the total cultivable area of 3.6 million hectares (ha), 0.5 million has been affected due to the cyclonic storm. The crop loss has been estimated at Rs. 2,300 crore". In toto, Phailin has its impact more than eight million people in 13 districts - Puri, Ganjam, Phulbani, Nayaghargh, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Gajapati, Balasore, Bhadrak, Khorda and Keonhjar etc.          
          While the official human causality has been pegged at fifteen, ten of them are from Gajapati, and two of them are reported from Balasore district. One person from the Sadar Block and the other person from Khantapada (Bahanaga) according to the latest news from the OTV. So many trees and electrical posts also have fallen down which obstructing the traffic. Villagers are clearing the roads and helping the administration for a smooth traffic.

       According to a message from Skymet, As the cyclone Phailin moving further in north and north west direction and likely to weaken gradually. It would become depression and tomorrow enter into Jharkhand and Chhattisgargh. There is a forecast of 100-150 mm rain in Balasore Disrict.
In an interview given by Mr. Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, the Principal Secretary of Water Resource Department to OTV said that the rivers like Baitarini, Budabulango, Subarnorekha are crossing its danger level due to incessant rain in the north eastern part of Odisha. He added that it will result into flood.
      Understanding the gravity of the situation the President of BSSS Rt. Rev. Dr. Thomas Thiruttalil CM, along with Director Fr. Jojo C. V. had personally visited cyclone and flood affected areas of Balasore District. He was exhorting all the staff of BSSS to work whole heartedly for saving the life, livestock and property. As we were visiting some of these locations today, we could witness that the rivers are already overflowing and many low lying areas are submerged under water.

        Based on suggestion and the secondary information received from field level volunteers and Medias, a filed visit and consultation made by BSSS volunteers in worst affected villages of Jaleswar, Sadar, Basta of Balasore and Panchupalli of Keunjhar districts.

Visit Made by
Fr. Jojo C.V. (Director, BSSS) and Pradeep, Prabir, Chandrasekhar, Silu, Tulashi, Prakash (Staffs, BSSS)
Villages visited
Nalabhar, Dhandadi, Binjha, Sana Dhandadi, Sundarhata, Dandika, Rasalpur, Kusudiha, Sanakanja ,Srirampur, Mathani.
To understand the extent and type of damage; identify  the priority needs, most needy area and estimated affected households
Direct observations, KII with affected men and women /PRIs and transact walk wherever possible.

The following problems were identified:
·        Many of these villages are not approachable due to which the detailed information are not available for time being. We also could witness that many of the villages are marooned under water as we were trying to enter into these villages. The rain is still continuing and water level is going high.
·        Even though many people had gone back to their own villages and respective houses, they came back to cyclone shelters and public schools due to incessant causing flood in their villages and fear of falling down of mud walls of their own houses.
·        There is no electricity in the village and kerosene is not available, even though it’s available in few places, it’s expensive.
·        Families are living in the open crowded building, in the back of the trucks  covering with  plastics . Families took shelter wherever they could and with whatever they could bring with them. Mostly in school buildings (Women particularly find the lack of privacy a concern and risk for children). Their houses likely to be collapsed and been suspected to damage. Even now, there is no chances of water receding, though the water level is highly increasing in Jalaka, Kansabansha and also in Subarnarekha.
·        Livestock lack fodder and are at risk of disease. A significant number of livestock are sure to have perished in the floods, and those that have been rescued face a risk of disease. 
·        Families are at risk due to poor hygiene and drinking untreated water, suspected to be suffer from disease.
·        Panchupally village of Anantapur sub-division of Keonjhar District is totally submerged under water due to the overflowing of Baitarini River.
·        Parikhi, Channua, of Balasore District and parts of Baripada of Mayurbhanj district are submerged under water due to the overflowing of Budabolanga River.
·        Sartha, Kasafal, Bahabalpur and many other villages of Jaleswar and Bhograi Blocks of Balaosre district are also under water due to Subarnarekha and Jalakha rivers.
·        There is high current in water and people are scared of getting drowned and swept away with flood water. Water of 2-2.5 feet level is currently inside villages.
·        Road communication cut-off to the villages sindhia,buanla, nagram,alanda sargoan, chhanua, bahabalpur (Partly) ,parikhi,Chasakhanda, Nizampur (Partly).
·        Different reports shows that, there is heavy rain started in Jharkhanda and Chhatishgad and the upper catchment areas of Mayurbhanja, which will again aggravate the flooding situation.

Preliminary financial loss of 4,242 crore due to the twin calamity

Bhubaneswar:20.10.13:Union home secretary Anil Goswami, who visited cyclone affected Ganjam on Sunday, said a joint efforts by the state and central government saved maximum lives from Phailin that lashed the Odisha coast on the night of October 12.
“We managed to save maximum lives. Now our efforts should be to reduce the suffering of the affected people,” said Goswami, who was on a one-day visit to make assessment of the damage caused by the cyclone and subsequent flood.
Goswami cancelled his visit to Balasore district worst affected by flood due to bad weather and held discussions with top state government officials in Bhubaneswar. Seeking central help, state chief secretary JK Mohapatra handed over a memorandum to Goswami that detailed a preliminary financial loss of 4,242 crore due to the twin calamity.
Cyclone Phailin hit the beach town of Gopalpur in Ganjam on the night of October 12 with a wind speed of more than 200 km per devastated the communication system and power supply in all affected districts, uprooted trees, overturned trucks and flattened kuchha buildings, mostly in Ganjam district.
A day latter, the waning cyclone caused heavy rain triggering flood in Balasore and Mayurbhanj in northern Odisha by the next day, catching the state government unawares. Around 1.12 crore people in 17 districts of Odisha were affected due to the twin calamity of cyclone and flood. At least 44 people have died so far, including 23 in flood.
The state government succeeded in minimizing loss of lives by evacuating more than 900,000 people, but finds it difficult to reach relief and rehabilitate them even a week after the calamity. Thousands are still spending nights out in the open without a roof over the head.
The high-velocity cyclone Phailin that hit Odisha about a week ago is estimated to have destroyed around 26 lakh trees in the state.
“As per reports received from cyclone-affected areas about 26 lakh trees have been damaged. The number might go up as reports from a few other places are yet to pour in,” said a senior forest official.
The details process of damaged trees is still in progress which is taking time as many forest areas have become inaccessible after the cyclone, he said adding once the roads were cleared, detailed reports would be obtained from all divisions.
It was earlier estimated that about 1.1 lakh trees had been uprooted in the worst-affected Ganjam and Gajapati districts alone. With massive damage to forest areas, experts have suggested that the government should go for wind-resistant local varieties such as mango, neem and banyan instead of planting trees.

“The cyclone with high wind speed has devastated the forest areas brought down more than 21 lakh trees. This has caused severe damage to the green cover of the state. We will take necessary steps for restoration,” said forest minister Bijayshree Routray.

The situation is turning very shaky in Odisha

Kandhamal:19.10.13:People are in the devastation of efect  shocking. The area was famous for its greenery having thousands of trees and it was well know as a tourist place, but the storm had stripped it of its pride possession and rendered it barren. It hurt us when we knew that the dread storm had spared the costal as well as in Kandhamal.
The low-lying areas with paddy crops to the district had been fully submerged. We passed many villages in Kandhamal, which too had faced the fury of the cyclone. With their houses damaged, most of them had smashed. We hardly saw any people or any vehicle on the road. A dead silence had reigned supreme everywhere. 
 “The situation is turning very shaky. Putrefaction of animal cadaver, rotting of uprooted trees, Drinking water,Communication and open toilets now threaten outbreak of epidemics. But the Government does not appear to be serious to address these problems,” Mrs. Kambsi Pradhan said.

When most of the people could have resorted to self-shifting to safety place after the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicted Phailin, the State Government continues to make false claims that it evacuated more than 9 lakh people and tries to spread its version across the globe by means of media sources said. 
“Everyone was focusing on the coastal evacuations and relief and recovery along the coast and we weren’t prepared for the Phailin hits in Kandhamal areas as well,” Mr.Buri Nayak,a victim surviver said. 

A village of just 2,400 people, Arjiapali was among the first places to be hit by Phailin

Berhampur:18.10.13:Odisha could take a year to recover from the devastation of Cyclone Phailin, according to Catholic Relief Services, more then 10 million people affected, many of them homeless.

John Shumlansky, India representative of CRS, said the organization was still assessing the fallout from the huge tropical storm which battered India’s eastern coast on Saturday, killing 26 people.

“The destruction and the impact are massive,” he said in Odisha’s heavily damaged state capital, Bhubaneswar. “Nothing could escape nature’s fury.”

The toll could have been much worse were it not for mass evacuations, prompting the UN to call India’s preparations for the giant storm a “landmark success story in disaster management”.

CRS is among numerous relief agencies, including the government, delivering aid to the worst hit coastal towns of Ganjam, Balasore and Puri.

In Ganjam, home to more than 3.5 million people, nearly a quarter of a million houses were destroyed and crops have been wiped out with total damage estimated at 30 billion rupees  in the town alone.

“It will take more than a year to bring the people’s lives back on track,” said Shumlansky.

In Balasore, the district worst affected by flooding, an estimated 900,000 people have been displaced as vast areas remain under water.

“We need to think about Balasore as water is standing there and creating problems as compared to other places where the cyclone has come and gone and people have started bringing their lives [back] to normal,” said Shumlansky.

People are going back to their damaged or destroyed houses without any belongings, he said, and many have seen their means of earning a living destroyed.

In the small town of Arjiapali, 7km down the coast from Chatrapur, some 12,000 fishermen of the district have urged the government to replace or repair their damage, destroyed and lost boats so they can feed their families again.

“We do not want any relief from the government. We want help to restore our fishing livelihoods,” said B. Simadari, head of the district’s fishing community.

Like other affected communities, people in Arjiapali have received 500 rupees and 50 kg rice in immediate aid from the government.

A village of just 2,400 people, Arjiapali was among the first places to be hit by Phailin when it reached the bay of Bengal coast at around 8.15pm on Saturday.

“It is quite visible from the destruction around that our village bore the maximum brunt but we don’t want to be dependent on the government. That would make us useless,” Simadari said.

With the financial toll from Phailin expected to 200,000 rupees to the families of each of the 25 victims, it remains to be seen whether authorities will commit the money required to replace the hundreds of fishing vessels lost.” That is a lot of money. Which we cannot afford this much,” Simadari added.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Odisha now faces another struggle

Bhubaneswar:17.10.13: The worst affected district, Ganjam, is now in a sever disaster. Preliminary estimates indicate that 234,000 houses have been destroyed and the electricity infrastructure of the district requires a huge reconstruction effort. The damage in terms of lost livelihoods, due to crop destruction, work loss and other economic effects, will be fully known only in the weeks and months ahead. Phailin’s final bill may end up biting Odisha quite a bit.

Further, its administrative ability to evacuate residents from the disaster zone was non-existent. For crucial days, it was the army that delivered all the essential services apart from the task of rescuing and ferrying residents to safety. So the record is too patchy to say that India as a whole has moved on Mr.Ambika,Odisha chapter UNDP said.

Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Keojhar and Bhadrak districts in the state are flooded, and power distribution systems and grids have been severely damaged in many places, Gajapati and Kandhamal especially in Ganjam, by the severest cyclone to hit the country in several years, state government officials said here.

Even as the Odisha government is grappling with heavy flooding in several areas and the prospect of large-scale rehabilitation following Cyclone Phailin, the meteorological department has predicted heavy rainfall in several northern states as a fallout of the storm.

Odisha Phailin Cyclone Response Forum started Phailin assessment

Bhubaneswar: 16/10/13: The Odisha Phailin Cyclone Response Forum meeting started at 3.30 pm in CYSD on 15th of Oct. 2013. The Principal Secretary-Government of Odisha Mr. Upendra Behera, Inter Agency Group members along with Civil Society Organization from different parts of Odisha and other finance official of the Government of Odisha around 100 have actively participated. The objective of assembly was (a) To understand the gravity of “Phailin” cyclone situation (b) Many hands approach to work together as said by the former RTI Commissioner Mr. Jagdananda Panda who preside over the meeting today.

The agenda of the meeting followed with self introduction, presentation of findings by RPCRF, led by AINA Mrs. Sneha, Individual sharing of respective affected areas, government initiative by Mr. Upendra Behera, sum-up by Mr. J. Panda and formation of Groups for thematic component such as Livelihood, Entitlement, Housing and Sanitation, Different Able Persons, Child Protection etc. The group will work with collaborative and coordinating closely to government departments. 

               Overall, 14 districts in Odisha were affected by the storm.The flood situation is harsh in Balasore and Mayurbhanj, Mr. Upendra Behera said in the emergency meeting at CYSD, Bhubaneswar. Three teams of National Disaster Response Force and teams of the Orissa Disaster Response Action Force have been dispatched to the most affected areas.

About 1200 families directly affected and their houses are damaged by the cyclone hit as per our rapid assessment from different blocks. The power supply has been cut off in the district since last three days. Strong winds uprooted the trees and electricity poles, heavy rainfalls overflowed the streams blocked roads Father Manoj Nayak-Jana Vikas,Kandhamal said.

Cyclone Phailin lashed India’s eastern coast at Gopalpur in Ganjam district with wind speeds of up to 220km per hour around 09.30pm on Saturday, bringing heavy rains across south coastal Odisha , he add.

By all accounts, the Odisha government has managed to contain the human fallout of Cyclone Phailin. The human toll was less than 50 deaths at the time of writing. This is in stark contrast to the last time Odisha faced cyclonic destruction in 1999 when some 10,000 persons lost their lives one of a participant said.

Twenty-one people died and 11.9 million people have been affected by the cyclone and the ensuing floods in 128 blocks of the state, according to state administration. Rescue teams have been pressed into action to airdrop food packets in flood-hit areas. In Balasore district, around 300,000 people are locked by floodwater government official said.

Human Rights Defender Forum (HRDF) preparation for Phailin Response

Bhubaneswar: 15.10.13: The Phailin cyclone has stork to the Odisha severely. A disaster response meeting has held by Human Rights Defenders held in Bhubaneswar on today. Sri Dhirendra Panda, Convener, Civil Society forum for Human Rights and Pradipta Nayak lad the assembly , Sri Bagambara Patnayak was the chairman of the occasion. Observance on opinion of participated activists following decisions have determined in the meeting for compassionate response.
             The death toll in Odisha mounted to more then 50 after 30 more people perished in seven costal districts of the state in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin that also triggered a flood in some areas. Most of the casualties were caused by wall collapse, uprooted trees and in floods, while a large number of people were injured, the HRD forums ground report said. The cyclone led to floods in the two districts of Bhadrak, Baleswar and Mayurbhanj where near half of Baripada town was submerged. 
           Most affected areas are Chikiti block of Ganjam, Mohana of Gajapati and Daringbadi block of Kandhamal will be taken out of other district for a rapid assessment to track the government by the forum. Dalit, Adivasi, Marginalized and Daily labour are to be taken care, chairman said.
          About 14,514 villages in 12 districts have been affected, hitting a population of 90,60,4 81 given details of the devastation caused by the cyclone according to SRC and state government report.
          Still there is many people are struggling to come out.  Hardly anyone can be seen on the streets - the government has unable to manage the relocation, most people living along the coast. Most people have stocked up on provisions, unsure of what to expect fro the government.

          Major points to meet the disaster mitigation:-
Activists and members of leading Human Rights Defender Forum to be revisiting the government mechanism for disaster mitigation of UN amendments on disaster.
The forum evaluated that the government has misappropriation of relief, rehabilitation.
The team will monitor and keep on vigilant of any kind of prejudice in relief and rehabilitation
The forum will engage in each every identified block of affected districts of Odisha to asses the damage of individual affected families and put forth before the government to get the compensation  
Phailin impact assessment of damage, lost etc has to be compensated by the government.
Disaster management measures suppose to follow the guideline of United Nation.

Forum will be focused on Pre, during and Post occurrence of disaster mitigation in the finding Mr.Kularanjan D.majhi,OROSA said.

About 14,514 villages in 12 districts have been affected, hitting a population of 80,53,620 given details of the devastation caused by the cyclone:Odisha Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro

Bhubaneswar:14/10/13:Phailin', a very severe cyclonic storm on last Saturday struck the Odisha, bringing in its wake hammering rains and wind speeds of near about 200 to 220 kmph in costal area of Odisha.
 The cyclone has now weakened into a deep depression with wind speed of 45-55 kmph, according to the IMD today.
                About 14,514 villages in 12 districts have been affected, hitting a population of 80,53,620 given details of the devastation caused by the cyclone, Odisha Revenue Minister Surjya Narayan Patro said.
The death toll in Odisha mounted to 23 after 14 more people perished while one was missing in seven districts of the state in the aftermath of Cyclone Phailin that also triggered a flood in some areas. Most of the casualties were caused by wall collapse, uprooted trees and in floods, while a large number of people were injured, official sources said. The cyclone led to floods in the two districts of Bhadrak, Baleswar and Mayurbhanj where near half of Baripada town was submerged. 
                Local people  listed of broken houses are fully and partially 192 houses in Raikia block, 20 houses of Bramanigam, 10 house of Kumbharigan, 18 houses of Dandimaha, 02 houses Sikapata village under Daringbadi Block, 12 houses in Sarangada village of K.Nuagam, 120 houses under G. Udayagiri block,01 house in Dastaguda,16 houses in Rutungia,08 houses in Kelapada,05 houses in Lada,08 houses in Budakambi,02 houses in Tudukipada,06 houses in Pabingia,03 houses in Dhandragan,07 houses in Gundhani,03 houses in Baliguda,06 houses in Bataguda,08 houses in Sugadbadi,15 houses in Padapada,08 houses in Delapada,01 house in Budakempa,05 houses in Putikapadi villages of the district have got damaged. Families had been taken for shelter them self in schools, community halls and temple, churches in Kandhamal.
                  Merely about 476 families directly affected and their houses are damaged by the cyclone hit as reported by local people from different blocks. The power supply has been cut off in the district since last two days. Strong winds uprooted the trees and electricity poles, heavy rainfalls overflowed the streams blocked roads Mr.Ajit Kumar Kullu-BDO-Raikia Block,Kandhamal said.

                  Near about 51 houses have damaged identified.05 house of Kutanigand, 12 house of Daningia, 16 house of Rangamati, 11 house of Anandpur,06 houses in Adava,01 house of Gargedi village under Mohana block of Gajapati district. Odisha government began relief and restoration work in the districts Mrs.Rashmee Rathan-Standing Committee Chairperson, Zilla Parishad of Gajapati district said.

                  Kalinga Hills of Kandhamal weakened phailin; but there are damages in villages with reports of houses being destroyed. Kandhamal hills just within 100/150 kilometers from Gopalpur.Daringbadi is a biggest block in Kandhamal situated on 3000 feet above sea level filled with forests and hills that reduced speed and weakened furious and aggressive Phailin. It is a warning and lesson for mining corporations and governments to save lives; save forests and hills. Nature saves us, teaches; Save Forest/Hills, Forest saves life the Kandhamal people believed.

Phailin cyclone hits Kandhamal and Gajapati severely

Bhubaneswar:13/10/13:The velocity of the Phailin is 200 t 210 kmph in Kandhamal.Mearly about 53 families directly affected and there house damaged by the cyclone. Power supply has been cut in the district. Strong winds uprooted trees overflow of stream and fall down electricity poles in the district. The district administration has not taken any precocious to rescue people from challenging places is seen.

About 20 house of Bramanigam, 10 house of Kumbharigan, 18 house of Dandimaha,02 Sikapata village under Daringbadi Block, 03 house in Sarangada village of K.Nuagam of the district. Families are sheltered at schools, Nodal school, Community halls and Churches.

At least one people is killed in heavy rains and strong winds in Gajapati.Near about 50 house have damaged.05 house of Kutanigand,12 house of Daningia,16 house of Rangamati,11 house of Anandpur village under Mohana block of Gajapati district.

Strong winds swept coastal Odisha

Bhubaneswar:13/10/13:At least eleven people were killed as heavy rains and strong winds swept
coastal Odisha ahead of cyclone Phailin's landfall.Seven died in Gopalpur of Ganjam district, where the cyclone was likely to hit land.Two died in Jagatsinghpur district and one in baramunda,Bhubaneswar.
The impact of Phailin cyclone in Odisha is heavy rain and wind blowing since last evening 7:00 pm, there is no electricity since yesterday. 
Water overflowing from the river, tries are collapsed beside the river, water is entering in some of the houses are under water. Still there are many people struggling to come out.   People are not able to come out, houses are under water their belonging, The most affected areas  of  Baleswar,Kendrapada,Ganjam,Gajapati,Puri,Khurda,Jagatsingpur,Nayagarh,Cuttackand Kandhamal districts and state capital Bhubaneswar.
The government has unable to manage the rescue operation, most people living along the coast, although some are refusing to leave. Shops, businesses and even petrol stations are shut. Most people have stocked up on provisions, unsure of what to expect.
Cyclone relief centres are defunct at many places in that district area. Call network disconnected. People are listening to radio. Local / regional broadcasts and facebook is only option to understand the support of anyone and also Phailin Cyclone status.
Over four lakh people in Odisha were evacuated to safer places. The army, navy and air force and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were on alert for rescue and relief work.

The Disaster Minister Suryanaraya Patra said 4 lakh people were evacuated from low-lying areas in Odisha.

The Phailin lands at Gopalpur on 9.00 pm

Bhubaneswar: 12.10.2013: About seven people swept out, hundereds cows, livestock washed away by the phailin. More then fifteen (15) village is in water lash in Gopalpur area, the cyclone stroked in 09 pm to the land at Gopalpur.The speed of the Phailin in 185 kmph.Havey rain will be remain same for next fourth eight hours,if wind speed go above 220 kmph at landfall,Phailin could be classified as a super-cyclone, Indian Metrological Department said on 9.50 pm this night. The super-cyclone of 1999 had hit Odisha with wind speeds of 180 kmph per hour and waves as high as six metres high.
            It is raining already in coastal areas of Odisha .Power supply has been cut in seven coastal districts in Odisha. Power supply has been hit in capital Bhubaneswar too. There are reports of strong winds uprooting trees and electricity poles in Gopalpur, Berhampur of Ganjam
Atlist five villages of Chilika, Fifteen villages are being washed-out in Baleswar district. It was affected is 185 kmph to 200 kmph and it was predicted of 300 kmph.
            Still there is many people are struggling to come out.  Hardly anyone can be seen on the streets - the government has unable to manage the relocation, most people living along the coast, although some are refusing to leave. Shops, businesses and even petrol stations are shut. Most people have stocked up on provisions, unsure of what to expect.
Basta ,Balipala,Astarang blocks of Baleswor are cut up of communication due water lash.
Many people here have memories of the super cyclone that struck Odisha in 1999 and are frightened of what Phailin may have in store for them. Paradip is on most high alert! The Phailin is blowing above then 200 kmph 97.5 FM said at 09.30 pm this evening.

Phailin cyclone covering half the size of the country

BHUBANESWAR, India | Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:06pm IST
            India's east coast braced on Friday for a cyclone covering half the size of the country, with tens of thousands of residents in low-lying areas fleeing their homes after authorities forecast a risk to life and extensive damage once the storm hits land.
Satellite images showed Cyclone Phailin 600 km (360 miles) off the coast in the Bay of Bengal and likely to make landfall on Saturday evening. The images showed the storm covering an area roughly half the size of India.
Some forecasters likened its size and intensity to that of hurricane Katrina, which devastated the U.S. Gulf coast and New Orleans in 2005.
The Indian Meteorological Department described Phailin as a "very severe cyclonic storm" with wind speeds of 210-220 km per hour (130-135 mph) and said it would hit between Kalingapatnam and the major port of Paradip in Odisha state. The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre predicted gusts of up to 305 kph.
"We plan to evacuate about 100,000 families in Ganjam district by tomorrow morning," Odisha state's Special Relief Commissioner, Pradeep Kumar Mohapatra,said to reporter.
State authorities said 5,000 families had already moved into shelters and schools. Shelters were being stocked with rations and leave for government employees were cancelled.
The government broadcast cyclone warnings through loudspeakers and on radio and television as the first winds were felt on the coast and in the state capital, Bhubaneswar. People living in thatched houses in low-lying areas were told to move to cyclone shelters, high-rise buildings and other safer places.
Residents reported 3.5 m (12 feet) waves, but fishermen hoped the storm would pass over and were reluctant to leave their boats.Helicopters were on standby in neighbouring West Bengal, ready to drop food packets into isolated areas, officials said.
Indian authorities warned of extensive damage to crops, village dwellings and old buildings, as well as disruption of power, water and rail services.

"Within 12 hours of cyclone strike we will try to clear all the roads. Within 24 hours we will try to restore water supply and electricity." Mohapatra added.


Paradip stopped cargo operations on Friday after the cyclone warning, port chairman Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra said.
"There is no cargo operation. We are also not allowing berthing," Mishra said. He said all vessels were ordered to leave the port, which handles coal, crude oil and iron ore.
London-based storm tracking service Tropical Storm Risk placed Phailin in the most intense Category 5 of powerful storms, evoking memories of a devastating "super cyclone" that killed 10,000 people on India's east coast in 1999. That storm battered Odisha for 30 hours with wind speeds reaching 300 kph.
"A recent satellite estimate put Phailin's current intensity on par with 2005's Hurricane Katrina in the United States and just barely stronger than the 1999 cyclone at its peak," said Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist for Quartz magazine.
"That would mean Phailin could be the strongest cyclone ever measured in the Indian Ocean."
India's weather authorities were reluctant to make comparisons to the 1999 cyclone, and most forecasters expected it to weaken upon reaching the coast. Odisha's storm preparedness has improved since 1999.

Radio switched on for updates when Cyclone Phailin hited

 The strongest storm to hit India's eastern coast in 14 years, was nearing. The radio helped a large number of families make their plans ahead of the storm and decide their next course of action. The bulletin warned those who are staying of the coast in dilapidated, thatched house or homes with asbestos roofing to move to safer places.  
         We suggest to packed essential items such as beaten rice, sugar, clothes, money and his radio set and went to the nearby cyclone shelter along with all member of own family and neighbors immediately after a special radio bulletin said people needed to evacuate. 
       The very severe Phailin tropical cyclone that struck on October 12 night near state's port town of Gopalpur in Ganjam and other districts left a trail of destruction, bringing heavy rain and causing floods. Although damage to property was estimated at several thousand crore rupees, the loss of humans was minimal compared to the 1999 super-cyclone that claimed over 10,000 lives. The toll from the latest cyclone and flooding has so far remained more then 60 causality. 
         "Mobile phones, which were working in most of the areas despite adverse weather conditions, also helped us a lot to connect with people.
            "We had asked our people to get SIMs of multiple operators. If one stopped working, they could use another and this trick worked very well”.
Mobile phones also helped many to get up-to-date information about the severe weather conditions. In 1999, there were only a few hundered mobile phone users in the state. Today, there are more than 20 million users. 
"I had kept my mobile switched off for hours to save the battery. When the cyclone neared, I switched it on and listened to the weather bulletin using the radio avilable in the mobile,” OROSA staff said, recollecting the horror.