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Cyclone Phailin caused more than £300 million worth of damage after devastating India’s eastern coastline over the weekend, reports children’s charity Plan International.
More than a million people were evacuated from the states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh ahead of the storm. Fourteen people have been confirmed dead.
Bhagyashri Dengle, Executive Director of Plan in India, says: “Early evacuation helped to save thousands of lives.
“However, devastation is widespread and cyclone-affected communities will need dedicated and long-term support to get back on their feet.”
Around 200,000 homes and half a million hectares of farmland have been damaged, with roads and power lines affected.
Aid workers from Plan have been deployed to the affected areas to assess the needs of residents.
They will be working with the government and other humanitarian organisations to help the affected population, especially children, who are most vulnerable in emergencies.
One 12-year-old girl living in Odisha’s Ganjam district spoke of her fear as the cyclone struck.
“We were very scared. We live in a tin house. When the cyclone came it was so severe that we left our house and went to a nearby concrete building,” she says.
Cyclone Phailin was India’s strongest storm in 14 years and affected 9 million people, but early evacuation prevented greater loss of life.
It is expected that families will begin moving back to their villages in the next couple of days.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org