May 2019: Cyclone Fani has made landfall along the coast of Odisha in eastern India. Nineteen districts of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh are likely to be hit as the storm is set to intensify over the next few hours. Around 800,000 people from 11 districts of Odisha have already been evacuated to 880 shelters, and disaster response authority personnel have been deployed.
CARE has been monitoring the progress of the cyclone closely. The ‘severe cyclone’ may disrupt communication lines and damage roads, property and livestock. Several trains have been cancelled and the state capital airport at Bhubaneshwar is expected to be closed down.
In preparation for disasters, CARE has pre-positioned stocks of relief kits to ensure quick distribution should the need arise post rapid assessment. During any response of this nature, CARE is especially sensitive to the needs of most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised populations which include women and girls. The comprehensive relief kits include sanitation items for women and girls, and shelter provisions among several other material.
“CARE has been working in Odisha for several years, making Bhubaneswar an important centre of operations. We have been monitoring the situation closely, and taken necessary actions to respond to the impact of Cyclone Fani”, said Shantamay Chatterjee, Regional Project Director based in Bhubaneshwar.
The relief efforts will be undertaken by CARE India staff trained to respond during emergencies. This roster of emergency response personnel has been activated and concerned staff are on stand-by. Emergency teams deployed for a rapid needs assessment and relief distribution teams are gender balanced.
CARE is also prepared in support in neighbouring Bangladesh, where over 1 million Rohingya refugees, along with millions of vulnerable host population both in the southeast and southwest coastal region, are at risk of being impacted by Fani. Says Zia Choudary, Country Director of CARE Bangladesh “Despite the high level of expertise the Government and NGOs have in preparing and responding to crises, the real concern this year is for the Rohingya Refugees.”
He continues “The densely populated Rohingya camps of Cox’s Bazar are susceptible to deadly mudslide triggered by torrential rainfall (more than 200 mm/day). The concentration of one million displaced Rohingya people in Cox’s Bazar is now among the densest in the world and any such situation, even if the region is not hit by Fani directly, will create havoc.”
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