We need your generous help to support the mid- to long-term rehabilitation and restoration work following the devastating “super cyclone” Phailin that especially hit Odisha’s coastal districts hard on Oct 12, 2013. Super cyclone Phailin has left thousands and thousands of residents in South Odisha in complete disarray marked by a long trail of destruction akin to a war zone. Hit hardest, Ganjam district is estimated to have suffered a loss of at least 2 lakh hectares of agri-land with lakhs of people deprived of their livelihood and 2.4 lakh houses damaged. Power transmission was also crippled in the district as 40 transmission towers were eradicated by the cyclone’s fury and the region is still reeling from blackout. The food prices are astronomical and the environmental wealth is devastated with trees and crops taking the hit. Take for example, in Ganjam district, Govt. so far has merely reached relief to 170,000 people out of their own estimate of 750000 affected amply indicating the tough, long road to recovery. Concomitant flooding in Balasore and Mayurbhanj has been very destructive. Less than expected loss of life, today standing at 44, due to evacuation must not lull into a false sense of well-being as suffering is deep and livelihood and shelter loss momentous.
Below are some images from the affected areas. You may see more at weather.com/news
You may also send your donation check to SEEDS Treasurer, 9617 Mariposa St, Houston, Texas 77025, USA
One SEEDS member writes:
If you have thought the impact of Phailin and the flood followed it is not serious enough like 1999 super cyclone and if you are thinking the Govt is taking care of the devastation since it did a superb job in evacuation, then please read the following:
Aljazeera on Phailin
To know the extent of devastation:
“The rains have come as a double whammy for Orissa. The scale of damage and devastation due to the cyclone and floods would be the biggest in state’s history,” said PK Mohapatra, Odisha’s special relief commissioner.
“It even exceeded the devastation that the state suffered during the 1999 super cyclone when close to 10,000 people died.”
We are guided by media reports and there is an irony:
Ironically, the brightest side of the cyclone story – its low death count – has also meant that media interest tapered off even before the full extent of the destruction was clear.
“Only dead bodies get media eyeballs,” a local bureaucrat who wanted to remain anonymous said.
“But in Odisha, those marooned are the living dead.”
It is little surprise that aid for relief and reconstruction has been slow in coming.
And our reaction:
Meanwhile, those still marooned await assistance and empathy, both of which are seemingly in short supply.
Stranded on rooftops and whatever higher ground they could find, they reacted in horror when told that a local official planned to deploy a much-sought-after helicopter in an attempt to dry up a soggy field for hosting the India-Australia cricket match.
That a section of the local media ignored their hungry plight and chose to attend a cocktail dinner for a visiting celebrity sportswoman did not amuse them either.
We can do something. Do your best. That ‘best’ may be a drop in the ocean. Never mind. Our collective conscience has ever been our invaluable wealth at times of calamities.
Would you consider changing the tone of any celebration to an expression of empathy for the recent cyclone-flood victims and use the occasion for their cause?
Would you bring some HOPE in the ‘Living Dead’?
Past News: The 2011 Flood Rehabilitation Drive is now closed. Thanks to all our
donors who helped generously to address the needs of the affected
communities. Click here for status