Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Cyclone Phailin weakens after causing damage in India

© FRANCE 24

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-13

The cyclone that pounded India’s eastern coast on Saturday night, leaving at least five dead and causing severe damage, had weakened by the early hours of Sunday. Rescue workers will begin assessing the damage throughout the day.

Cyclone Phailin powered its way inland over eastern India on Sunday leaving a swathe of destruction but the loss of life appeared limited after more than half a million people sought safety in storm shelters.

Phailin was the strongest storm to hit India in 14 years. Torn branches littered a road running past destroyed huts and twisted electricity poles along a large stretch of the east coast.

At least five people were killed - four people by falling trees and one when the walls of her mud house collapsed as the storm roared in off the Bay of Bengal, authorities said.

© FRANCE 24

The cyclone was one of three major storms over Asia on Sunday. The smaller Typhoon Nari was approaching Vietnam and Typhoon Wipha loomed over the Pacific.

More than half a million people in India spent the night in shelters, some built after a storm killed 10,000 people in 1999. Others took refuge in temples.

By first light, winds had slowed to 90 kph (56 mph) from top speeds of 200 kph (124 mph) when the storm made landfall near the town of Gopalpur in Odisha state on Saturday night.

Television images showed cars flipped on their sides and debris-strewn streets in the silk producing city of Brahmapur, one of the hardest hit. A few trucks and motor-bikes returned to the city’s streets as residents emerged to survey the damage.

Large swathes of Odisha, including its capital, were without electricity for a second day after the storm ripped down power cables, and officials said it was too early to give an accurate damage assessment.

“We will assess after the cyclone eases ... even now the cyclone is on,” said Odisha’s chief secretary J.K Mohapatra.

“There has been pretty severe devastation in Brahmapur town.”

Extensive flooding

Soldiers and rescue workers in helicopters, boats and trucks will fan out across Odisha and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh state to review the damage. The India Meteorological Department warned of extensive flooding and destruction of flimsy homes.

Higher sea levels driven by storm surges can cause the worst destruction. Phailin was forecast to drive sea levels up 11 feet (3.5 metres) at its peak.

At least 550,000 people were crammed into shelters including schools and temples, in what the National Disaster Management Authority called one of India’s largest evacuations.

In Mogadhalupadu, a fishing village in Andhra Pradesh, where some people had refused to leave their boats and nets, the damage was less than feared. Seawater surged into huts made from coconut palms near the beach.

“People have come back to the village now,” said village chief Jagdesh Dasari, saying winds that gusted through the night had dropped off and the rain was light.

Operations at Paradip port in Odisha have been halted since Friday. All vessels were ordered to leave the port, which handles coal, crude oil and iron ore. An oil tanker carrying 2 million barrels of oil, worth $220 million, was moved.

The storm landed far north of India’s largest gas field, the D6 natural gas block in the Cauvery Basin further down the east coast, operated by Reliance Industries.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2013-10-13

  • INDIA

    Half a million flee as huge storm batters eastern India

    Read more

  • INDIA

    India's east coast braces for Cyclone Phailin

    Read more

COMMENT(S)