Cyclone Phailin: As it happened on Sunday

The worst of Phailin is over. While some damage to physical infrastructure was inevitable, given the intensity – wind speed over 200 kmph – with which Phailin touched ground, the very low death toll has come as a real relief.

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Updated: Oct 14, 2013, 00:02 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vijay Kumar with Neha Attre and Manisha Singh

10:05 pm: Cyclone Phailin weakens, turns into deep depression, says IMD

Cyclonic storm Phailin weakened further turning into "deep depression" on Sunday evening, as per the Met department and it has wind speed of 45-55 kmph. As of now, it is over northern Chhattisgarh, parts of Orissa and Jharkhand and is expected to weaken further late tonight.

10:03 pm: President calls for speedy rehabilitation ops

President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the authorities on the high level of preparedness which resulted in limiting the damage caused by the cyclone and called upon them to provide all possible help to the affected families through speedy relief and rehabilitation operations. In his message, the President conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased and sympathy for those affected by the natural disaster. – PTI report

9:10 pm: Very heavy rains likely in next 48 hours, says NDMA

Very heavy rains are expected over north Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, east Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Sikkim in the next 48 hours, with cyclonic storm `Phailin` now closer to Chattisgarh-Odisha border, National Disaster Management Authority said. National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) officials said the wind system is expected to move towards Nepal with heavy rains creating a threat of floods in river Kosi.

8:33 pm: Toll rises to 17 in Odisha due to cyclonic storm

Ten bodies were recovered from Ganjam district and Balasore districts on Sunday in the aftermath of Cyclone `Phailin`, taking the toll to 17 in Odisha, official sources said. Two bodies each were found in Berhampur town, Purushottampur, Ganjam town and Rangelilunda areas of Ganjam district where the high-velocity cyclone left a trail of devastation after making landfall in Gopalpur area yesterday, a senior official said. – PTI report

8:28 pm: Power situation under control, says Power Ministry

The Power Ministry said that required load and generation were managed in a balanced manner so as to secure stable transmission frequency. Advance preparations were made to manage generation and load balance for unhindered and secure grid operation it said in a statemet. Power stations in the region were also monitored, it further added. Also three Emergency Restoration Systems (ERS) of PGCIL were put on standby readiness in AP and Odisha for quick deployment in the event of damage. – PTI report

7:58 pm: 1,000 villagers evacuated in East Singhbhum district in Jharkhand

1,000 villagers were evacuated on Sunday from Ghatsila subdivision in Jharkhand`s East Singhbhum district after the Met department warned of heavy to very heavy rains in the aftermath of the Cyclone which hit Orissa yesterday and after low-lying areas here were inundated by heavy downpour.

7:52 pm: East Coast Railway train services resumed

East Coast Railway on Sunday resumed train services and ran some special trains to carry stranded passengers. The Crisis Management Group of ECoR has been regularly evaluating the situation with Railway Emergency Teams stationed with sufficient manpower and materials in advance at 25 stations considered most likely to be affected, an ECoR official said. – PTI report

7:50 pm: Rains, strong winds lash Jharkhand districts

Rains and strong winds damaged houses and uprooted trees in three districts of Jharkhand on Sunday, as per reports. The districts affected were Latehar, Gumla and Hazaribagh.

7:28 pm: No major damage in AP, state to set up SDRF

Cyclonic storm Phailin crossed Andhra Pradesh coast without doing much damage. Meanwhile AP Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said that a state-level disaster response force would soon be set up.

6:50 pm: Met department warns of heavy rainfall in North Chhattisgarh

The meteorological department has warned of heavy rainfall Northern Chhattisgarh due to the impact of cyclone Phailin. It also said that there will also be high velocity winds.

6:30 pm: Cyclone death toll increases to 15

The death toll due to Cyclone Phailin is feared to have gone up to 15 with more bodies reported to have been found in Ganjam district of Odisha.

6:12 pm: Work to restore damaged infrastructure starts

With the subsiding of Cyclone Phailin, steps to restore snapped communication lines, power transmission and rebuild damaged infrastructure in coastal belt of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh started on Sunday. Official sources said here that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is personally monitoring the situation and has directed central agencies to extend "full support" to the state governments in restoring normalcy in the aftermath of the cyclone. – PTI report

6:10 pm: Bhubaneshwar airport has been reopened

Bhubaneshwar airport has been reopened and Railways have pressed into service four special trains to carry stranded people from the Odisha capital.

6:07 pm: Relief operations going on in full swing, says Srikakulam collector

The relief and rescue works are going on in full swing in Srikakulam district and the situation is expected to become normal by Mondya, according to district collector Saurabh Gaur. "Most of the people have left relief camps and gone to their respective places. As of now, there are less than 5,000 staying in the relief camps," Gaur told a news agency.

6:05 pm: IMD did an excellent job, says NDMA

IMD has done an excellent job, says NDMA. Great coordination between various agencies, it added.

5:28 pm: 18 Tamil Nadu fishermen return to safety in Odisha

Eighteen fishermen of Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu, who were feared missing in Odisha, returned safely today, as per a news agency. The fishermen were trapped in a trawler near Paradip ahead of the cyclone which hit Odisha yesterday. The men had jumped from the trawler and swam to safety at Ersama in Jagatsinghpur district.

5:22 pm: General insurers may not see much losses from cyclone Phailin

The general insurance industry is unlikely to see much losses arising from the cyclonic storm Phailin that hit the eastern coast last night, as most commercial installations and ports along Odisha and Andhra are relatively less affected coupled with poor retail penetration in the region, say industry officials. They, however, said not only the domestic general insurance industry is closely watching the event, but global re-insurers are also having a close tab on the developments in the east coast. – PTI report

5:18 pm: SCR partially cancels and diverts trains

Several trains running along the east coast have been partially cancelled or diverted due to the cyclone `Phailin`, the South Central Railway (SCR) said on Sunday.

Train No 11020 Bhubaneswar Mumbai CST, which was scheduled to depart Bhubaneswar yesterday, is partially cancelled between Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam, the SCR said in a release.

Train No 22884 Yesvantapur Puri Express, which departed Yesvantapur yesterday, is partially cancelled between Visakapatnam and Puri.

Train No 11019 Mumbai CST Bhubaneswar Konark Express, which departed Mumbai CST yesterday, is partially cancelled between Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar.

Train No 18464 Bangalore Bhubaneswar Prashanthi Express which departed Bangalore yesterday, is also partially cancelled between Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar.

Train No 18645 Howrah Hyderabad East Coast Express which departed Howrah yesterday is diverted to run via Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Jarshuguda, Bilaspur, Durg, Nagpur, Ballarshah, Kazipet.

Train No 22612 New Jalpaiguri Chennai Express which departed New Jalpaiguri on October 11, is diverted to run via Adra, Chandil, Chakradharpur, Jharsuguda, Bilaspur, Nagpur, Ballarshah, Warangal, Vijayawada.

Train No 22614 Haldia Chennai Express which departed Haldia yesterday is diverted to run via Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Jarshuguda, Bilaspur, Durg, Nagpur, Ballarshah, Warangal, Vijayawada.

Train No 12841 Howrah Chennai Coromandel Express, which departed Howrah yesterday, is diverted to run via Kharagpur, Tatanagar, Jarshuguda, Bilaspur, Durg, Nagpur, Ballarshah, Warangal, Vijayawada.

Train No 17016 Secunderabad-Bhubaneswar Visakha Express scheduled to depart Secunderabad at 1700 hrs today has been partially cancelled between Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar. – PTI report

5:15 pm: Losses to Paradip Port due to cyclone, says chairman

The chairman of Paradip Port Trust, Sudhanshu Shekhara Mishra told a news agency that the port had suffered heavy losses due to the cyclone which hit Odisha yesterday. The Port had shut all cargo operations, plants and machinery and put in place a contingency plan to meet any eventuality due to cyclone Phailin. He informed that so far no casualty was reported in the area.

5:05 pm: Crew members of cargo ship MV Bingo spotted

A cargo ship was feared to have sunk in rough seas caused by Cyclone Phailin off the coast of West Bengal. However, the ship`s crew were spotted in a lifeboat by a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft. MV Bingo was carrying 8,000 tonne of iron ore was sailing to China after it left the Sagar anchorage on October 11, Kolkata Port Trust Chairman RPS Kahlon said. The ship had left Haldia port on October 8 and went missing yesterday. "The crew members have been located 45 nautical miles away by Dornier aircraft of the Coast Guard. They are sending a vessel to bring them back," Kahlon said. – PTI report

4:35 pm: Train services between Howrah and Puri have been restored, says East Coast Railway spokesperson.

4:20 pm: Eight more bodies were recovered from Ganjam district increasing the death toll during cyclone to 15.

4:05 pm: The Army has said that 12 districts, 89 tehsils and 14,515 villages were affected by the cyclone. There are no major casualties while 8,73,646 people have been evacuated and 5 lakh hectares crop have been damaged, the Army further said.

3:40 pm: Locals relieved that cyclone did not cause grave damage to life and property as feared.

3:25 pm: State Met department has sounded flood alert in Bihar.

3:00 pm: Relief and restoration work is taking place in 12 districts where around 90 lakh people have been affected by the cyclone.

2:15 pm: Our forecast that it was `very severe cyclone` and not `super cyclone` proved to be correct, says IMD.

Also Read: Forecast on Phailin was "more or less" accurate: IMD

1:55 pm: Lord Swraj Paul praised Indian administration for their efficient handling of Cyclone Phailin and announced a contribution of Rs 25 lakhs for rehabilitation of the displaced people.

Also Read: Lord Swraj Paul praises handling of cyclone, to contribute Rs 25 lakh

1:20 pm: The experience of 1999 super cyclone, helped us in saving lives. We have evacuated nine lakh people and minimised loss of human life, says Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik.

The Odisha CM said that now the challenge will be rehabilitation as properties worth several crores have been destroyed.

1:05 pm: Nearly nine lakh people were affected in coastal Odisha and crops worth Rs 2,400 crore destroyed by the cyclone.

12:50 pm: The cyclone damaged platform shelters and overbridges at Brahmapur, Ganjam, Balugaon and Khurda Road stations.

12:35 pm: One killed, 30 people still stranded in Srikakulam district, according to a news report.

12:15 pm: First visuals from Gopalpur show a trail of destruction that the cyclone left behind. Roads have been destroyed, power lines disrupted as rescue operations are on.

11.45 am: NDRF DIG, SS Guleria says teams are carrying out damage assessments and clearing roads, by evening all road communication can be restored.

11.30 am: IMD issues flood warning for Bihar as advancing Phailin may lead to heavy rains in the catchment areas of Kosi and Gandak rivers. No threat for Andhra Pradesh now.

11.17 am: Latest IMD update: Phailin has moved ahead from the Odisha coast, currently it is 50 km south of Sambalpur.

Heavy to very rains to continue in Odisha and Chhattisgarh for the next 24 hours; Jharkhand to get rains for the next 36 hours, later in Bihar.

Also Read: Cyclone Phailin: Heavy rains lash Jharkhand

Worst in terms of winds is over, rains to continue, says IMD Director General LS Rathore.

11.15 am: 80 lakh 53 thousand people affected, 14,515 villages under cyclone impact, says Odisha Special Relief Commissioner PK Mohapatra.

Three lakh hectares of agricultural land damaged - Mohapatra.

11.05 am: The two missing trawlers `Pawan Putra` & `Jai Bajrang Bali` with 18 men on board were tracked by Coast Guard and the Indian Navy.

10.55 am: All 18 fishermen trapped in Paradip sea rescued, confirms Special Relief Commissioner.

10.50 am: Review meeting underway in Bhubaneswar.

10.45 am: Odisha Civil Supplies Minister Pratap Keshari Deo gives update on toll - two deaths in Bhubaneswar and one death in Jagatsinghpur.

10.35 am: Damage not as much as we had anticipated, till now 100 trains cancelled, working towards restoration, says Anil Saxena, spoksperson Railways.

10.30 am: The worst of Phailin is over. While some damage to physical infrastructure was inevitable, given the intensity – wind speed over 200 kmph – with which Phailin touched ground, the very low death toll has come as a real relief.

Also Read: Phailin leaves trail of destruction, cyclone intensity weakens

Operation Phialin was a success owing to the meticulous planning done by Odisha and Andhra Pradesh state governments with round the clock support from the Centre. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) also pitched in with correct forecasts on the direction and intensity of the Phailin.

More than 8 lakh people were moved to shelters in less than 48 hours. It became possible as a string of cyclone shelters – built after the 1999 super cyclone - dot the Odisha coast.

Also, the presence of a trained force like the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) helped the government provide relief at a fast pace.

10 am: Power likely to be restored in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Puri by today evening.

9.20 am: Phailin has spared Andhra Pradesh, not much damage in Srikakilam district.

9 am: Ganjam collector confirms two more deaths in the district.

8.50 am: NDMA chief Shashidhar Reddy said the intensity of Cyclone Phailin has reduced to 90-100 kmph. Reddy said a trees and electric poles have been uprooted even as teams are working to clear the roads.

Reddy confirmed that NDRF teams had moved out at 6.30 am today morning for rescue and relief. He added that Phailin will weaken further to a deep depression by today evening.

Also Read: No casualties reported so far due to cyclone: NDRF chief

8.40 am: Ganjam district which includes Gopalpur and Brahmapur bore the brunt of Cyclone Phailin`s fury. Real picture to emerge after rescue teams reach all the affected areas.

8.37 am: Port warning signal at Gopalpur and Puri ports also reduced from danger signal No 10 to cautionary signal No 3. Cautionary signal No 3 up in Paradip in Chandbali ports as well.

8.35 am: Over 8 lakh people were moved to safer places within 48 hours, truly a spectacular success for all state and central governments and agencies like NDMA, NDRF and the armed forces.

8.25 am: NDRF teams begin rescue and relief in affected areas.

8.20 am: Oriya news channel OTV quotes Odisha Disaster Management Minister Surya Patro as saying that Ganjam and Puri district were most hit but extent of damage not known completely.
8.15 am: IAF to start air dropping of relief materials in affected areas after 11 am, units on standby across the region.

8.05 am: Phailin has caused extensive damage in Gopalpur, Brahmpur. Power lines and communication infrastructure damaged extensively – Odisha DGP Prakash Mishra told a news channel.

Most trees in Gopalpur have been uprooted.

7.57 am: No news on the 18 fishermen stranded off Paradip coast.

7.55 am: National Disaster Response Force Chief Krishna Chowdhary confirms no casualties reported so far due to Cyclone Phailin.

7.45 am: Indian Meteorological Department deserves praise as it had rightly categorised Phailin as a severe cyclonic storm and stuck to its reading that it was not a Category 5 super storm. American experts had overestimated the destructive force of the storm.

7.40 am:Sun shines briefly in Bhubaneswar after night of Phailin fury. Intensity of rain and winds goes down.

7.20 am: Reports quoting NDRF claimed that no loss of life has been reported so far from the cyclone hit region. 7 people had died in Odisha, yesterday, after trees feel on them.

Excellent preparation by various state and central agencies, especially National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) deserves praise.
7 am: Cylone Phailin’s fury has ebbed but flood threat looms large as heavy rains continue in Odisha.

6.47 am: As per the latest update from IMD, Phailin lay centred 90 kms northwest of Gopalpur. It is moving a speed at a speed of 20 kmph and would weaken gradually.

6.45 am: National Disaster Management Force (NDRF) teams all set to begin rescue and relief operations.

6.43 am: Most areas hit by Phailin remain without power as lines are down.

6.40 am: Rescue operations begin at local level all across coastal Odisha and north Andhra Pradesh. No reports of causalities so far; roads being opened up for traffic.

6.29 am: Flight operations to Bhubaneswar set to resume today. Indian Railway has also prepared a contingency plan to normalise operations as early as possible.