The extremely severe cyclonic storm Fani made its landfall on May 3rd, at Puri, Odisha. It was the strongest summer cyclone to hit Odisha in 43 years. The storm unleashed strong winds of up to 240 kmph, destroying houses and crops along with uprooting trees, electric poles and mobile towers.

The death toll has become 34 and is likely to rise. However, the Government of Odisha has received praises from national and international community including the United Nations for its commendable efforts in evacuating over 1 million people, failing which the death toll could have been worse.

An estimated 3 million people in 10,000 villages and 52 urban agglomerations in around 11 districts have been affected by Cyclone Fani. This is the current estimate and may go up as more confirmations come in from the government in the coming days. 

 

World Vision India has provided emergency relief to 3300 families. Each relief kit contained rice, lentils (toor dal), salt, sugar, cooking oil, bag, mosquito net, torch, bucket with lid, bathing soap, washing soap, sanitary pads, tarpaulin sheet (6x4m) and  plastic rope.

“World Vision India has previously responded during the super cyclone of 1999 and the cyclone Phailin, both of which made landfall around the same areas. We have also worked in some of the flood-affected areas in these districts. We are working closely with the Government in our relief efforts for cyclone Fani,” said Cherian Thomas, CEO & National Director, World Vision India.

 

Thousands of hectares of crops have been completely damaged by the winds and inundation from the sea water in coastal areas. There has also been severe loss of livestock.  Many of the fishermen’s boats have also been completely damaged. Due to the loss of livelihood, there is fear of people migrating to find alternative means of earning and this could severely affect children and women.

World Vision India’s rapid assessment team conducted a focus group discussion and many children have expressed concern that they may not be able to go to school because the roofs of many schools have been blown away or have been badly damaged. 

The district of Puri was the worst hit, along with Bhubaneshwar, the state capital. As a result, the communities in World Vision India’s Bhubaneswar Area Development Programme (ADP) have been badly affected. The districts of Cuttack, Bhadrak, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Balasore, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal and Nayagarh have also been affected.

Based on initial assessment reports and media reports World Vision India will be focussing on immediate relief, shelter, child protection and livelihood interventions.

 Our response will cover the sectors of Food, shelter, WASH and child protection. Gender and disability will also be our sectors of focus, in all our response. Livelihood recovery will be a priority sector as thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed. 

The relief phase is likely to span three months while recovery phase might continue for a year. “Our response teams on ground in Odisha are assessing the situation to begin immediate relief response.” said Franklin Jones, Head, Humanitarian Emergency Affairs, World Vision India.

World Vision India has also started setting up Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in the transition centres where displaced people are staying. We have set up 29 child-friendly spaces in Bhubaneswar, engaging over 1400  children in interactive ways through songs, dance, painting and other activities.

 

“Children are extremely vulnerable in situations like these”, said Tabitha Vani, World Vision India’s Child Protection Specialist of Cyclone Fani Response. She further added that “Apart from physical dangers such as being hit by flying debris, children can get separated from their parents in the chaos, and in the aftermath they are susceptible to communicable diseases. We will do everything in our power to meet any needs of these children and families. It is wonderful to see children playing, drawing and to hear so much laughter. The cyclone affected children have been through so much hardship, so being able to offer these safe places to children means they can forget about their troubles and start to rebuild."

 

You too can rush your support to people affected by cyclone Fani.

 

Visit bit.ly/giveforfani to donate

 

 

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