Cyclone Phailin: Slow delivery of aid to survivors leads to protests

The slow delivery of aid to survivors of cyclone Phailin has led to protests and looting in some areas, and hundreds of others are still without basic necessities.

According to a Reuters report, while the government has been carrying out relief efforts in some areas of Odisha, many have still not received any help.

 Cyclone Phailin: Slow delivery of aid to survivors leads to protests

Cyclone Phailin. Reuters image

"The government has been providing food and clean water and some shelter materials, but there are still places where people have not received anything at all," said John Shumlansky, country director for aid group Catholic Relief Services, to Reuters.

Some cyclone survivors have also looted relief supplies from government vehicles and shelters. Police arrested 18 people in Khurda district after a mob looted polythene rolls that were to be used for shelter, officials said.

Many of those hit by the cyclone are from poor fishing and farming communities and need basic emergency items such as clean water, tarpaulin sheets, medicine, soap, utensils and blankets. But they also need long-term support to help rebuild their lives after losing their homes and their livelihoods.

"There is a sense of frustration and anger which is always seen in days after a disaster. People are of course grateful to be alive, but are now returning to their homes to find nothing," said Unni Krishnan, head of emergencies at Plan International to Reuters. "It is great that so many lives were saved, but we now need to make sure that they are sustained in the days ahead."

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the CPI and the Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) have criticised the government, saying it failed to address problems of the people. According to a Times of India report, the Samajwadi Party state president Rabi Behera took a dig at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation, saying it did not initiate quick steps to restore normalcy in the city.

"The weatherman predicted heavy rainfall across the state during and after Phailin, but strangely till October 13 Mayurbhanj had no assistance," said JMM leader Sudam Marandi in the Times of India report.

Another report in the Indian Express had detailed how hundreds of those affected by Phailin were still waiting for relief efforts to reach them. "Over 100 villages in Dhamnagar, Bhandaripokhari, Chandbali and Tihidi blocks are still water logged. Bhadrak-Chandbali road has been cut off as flood water is flowing over it near Ghanteswar. According to District Emergency Office, relief materials have been dispatched to block headquarters and officials have started relief operation from Wednesday," says the report.


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Updated Date: Oct 19, 2013 14:53:39 IST