Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei
What is Cyclone Phailin?
Cyclone Phailin is a very severe cyclonic storm which originated from an area of low pressure over the Andaman Sea in early October 2013. It strengthened into a depression on October 8.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that Cyclone Phailin with wind speeds of 210-220km per hour (130-135 mph) would hit Indian states Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on Saturday at 5.30pm.
While satellite images showed Cyclone Phailin covering an area roughly half the size of India, various forecasters equated its size and intensity to that of hurricane Katrina, which shattered the US Gulf coast and New Orleans in 2005.
The name Phailin was given by Thailand, which means a Sapphire.
Here are some Cyclone safety tips:
- Stay alert about the cyclone warning by listening to Radio or TV, listen continuously for further warnings.
- Check if your house is built to cyclone standards.
- Know your nearest cyclone shelter/ safe houses as well as knowing the safest route to reach these shelters is important.
- Keep a list of emergency addresses and phone numbers on display.
- Stay indoors in the strongest part of the house unless you are asked to evacuate.
- Shield yourself with mattresses or blankets or strong objects like table or bench if the building starts to crack up.
- Based on prediction, evacuation may be necessary, so keep evacuation and emergency kits ready with you such as: torch and batteries, stock of dry food, matches, fuel lamp, portable stove, cooking utensils, a first aid kit, etc.
- When the cyclone strikes, disconnect all electrical appliances and turn off the gas.
- In case of driving, stop and stay inside the vehicle, but not near the sea or trees, power lines and watercourses.
- Do not go outside immediately after the cyclone calms down. Wait for official advise as it is not safe.
- Check for gas leaks, electrical appliances.
- If you have been asked to evacuate, do not return until advised.