Zero casualty policy, IMD accuracy minimised loss of lives

Zero casualty policy, IMD accuracy minimised loss of lives

Agency News

New Delhi, May 4: The government's "zero casualty" policy for cyclones and the "pinpoint accuracy" of the India Meteorological Department's early warning system helped reduce deaths from cyclone Fani in Odisha, said the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (ODRR).

"They seem to have done a very good job in terms of minimising the possibility for loss of life," said Denis McClean, ODRR spokesperson.

"The almost pinpoint accuracy of the early warnings from the Indian Meteorological Department had enabled the authorities to conduct a well-targeted evacuation plan, which had involved moving more than one million people into storm shelters," he said.

One of the strongest storms to batter India in decades made landfall near the coastal city of Puri on Friday morning. As of Saturday, less than 10 deaths were reported from the cyclone.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told the media in Bhubaneswar that more than 12 lakh people had been evacuated from vulnerable districts to safer locations.

The cyclone lashed with the maximum wind speed of up to 175 kilometres per hour, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding, with 28 million people living along the route of the massive storm.

World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) spokesperson Clare Nullis said that intensive precautions were taken because of the lessons learned from the super cyclone of 1999 in which more than 10,000 people died. Fatalities in the 2013 cyclone Phailin were low despite the intensity of the storm. (UNI)