THE LATEST REPORT: Cyclone Phailin Storms Hits India Costal Regions! ☼ 11/13/2013

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Oct 13, 2013
NEW FOOTAGE RAW VIDEO — Boat Cyclone Phailin heads for Odisha, Andhra Hurricane Storm Huge Cyclone Phailin Hits Costal Regions in India Indian East Coast 11/12/2013 – Heavy Winds 250kmph Wind, rain, sea pound eastern India as Cyclone Phailin nears Cyclone Phailin India Red Alert – 4 Lakh Evacuated India’s East Coast Cyclone Phailin: Mass evacuations in eastern India Wind, rain pound India as massive cyclone hits 2013

ICHAPURAM/BHUBANESWAR, India (Reuters) – A fierce cyclone tore into India’s coast, killing at least five people, forcing half a million into shelters and threatening to devastate farmland and fishing hamlets.

Cyclone Phailin was expected to remain a “very severe cyclonic storm”, packing winds of up to 210 kph (130 mph), into Sunday before steadily weakening as it moves inland in the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

The storm snapped trees and electricity poles and smashed windows in Brahmapur, a town in the area where it hit land on Saturday evening.

Rescue workers and soldiers spread out across the region in helicopters and trucks and the full extent of destruction was only expected to become clear after daybreak on Sunday.

View gallery.”India braces for Cyclone Phailin
A family carries their belongings as they move to a safer place at the village of Donkuru in Srikaku …
Some 12 million people were in the path of Phailin, weather and disaster management officials said. It was India’s strongest cyclone since a typhoon killed 10,000 people in the same region 14 years ago. Aid agencies hope better preparation and early warnings will mean far fewer casualties this time.

Satellite images showed a vast spiral-shaped storm covering most of the Bay of Bengal’s warm seas, before it churned inland.

Jagdesh Dasari, a leader in the fishing village of Mogadhalupadu, said police ordered villagers to leave their mud and thatch huts for a school building as night fell. Many on the impoverished coast were reluctant to go, afraid of losing belongings.

“Many people refused to move, had to be convinced, and at times the police had to forcefully move them to safe places,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said.

In the first reported deaths, four people were killed by falling trees, while another died when the walls of her mud house collapsed. Electricity went out in several towns, including Odisha’s capital Bhubaneswar.

Rain, Wind Pound India Coast As ‘super Cyclone’ Ba …Play video.”Rain, Wind Pound India Coast As ‘super Cyclone’ Barrels …
“We are fortunate that we are here … we saved our lives,” said Narayan Haldar, huddled with 1,300 people in an Odisha fishing village storm shelter, built after the 1999 typhoon.

But he complained the government had not provided food. Some shelters were dilapidated and TV images showed crowds standing in the rain outside one overcrowded building.

Large waves pounded beaches and villagers told a television station that surging sea levels has pushed water hundreds of feet (meters) inland in low-lying areas.

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

“The biggest threat right now is the storm surge along the coast,” said Eric Holthaus, meteorologist for Quartz magazine.

Cyclone Phailin ‘Like A Mini-Tsunami’Play video.”Cyclone Phailin ‘Like A Mini-Tsunami’

India’s disaster preparations have improved since the 1999 storm and aid workers praised the precautions taken, such as the stocking of rations and evacuations.

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

Even before landfall, coconut trees in villages along the coast were bent and broken in the gusting wind. Electrical poles were brought down and roads littered with debris.

Terrified children clung to their mothers as they sought shelter. Most towns along the coast were deserted but some people were still trying to flee in buses and three-wheeled auto-rickshaws just hours before the storm struck.

View gallery.”A girl runs for shelter in heavy rain brought by Cyclone …
A girl runs for shelter in heavy rain brought by Cyclone Phailin in Ichapuram town in Srikakulam dis …
The size of the storm made extensive damage to property more likely, Shashidhar Reddy, vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority told reporters in New Delhi. “Our priority is to minimize loss of life,” he said.

London-based Tropical Storm Risk said the storm lost some strength before making landfall as Category 4 – the second strongest such rating. The U.S. Navy’s weather service said wind at sea was earlier gusting at 296 kph (184 mph).

“A lot has been learnt since 1999 and my guess is that while there could be extensive damage to property and crops, the death toll will be much less,” said G. Padmanabhan, emergency analyst at the U.N. Development Programme.