Natural disasters can’t be avoided but one can always minimize the risk and hope for the best. Right now the same is being carried out in Bhubaneshwar, capital city of Odisha which has 12 hours remaining before Cyclone Phailin strikes. Though the meteorologists held out some hope that the storm might hit while in a temporary weakened state, but it will be large and deadly.
According to Ryan Maue, a meteorologist at Weather Bell, a private U.S. weather firm, even in the best-case scenario there will be a storm surge of 20-30 feet (7-9 meters). It is also being said that Phailin is nearly the size of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, which killed 1,200 people and caused devastating flooding in New Orleans.
The Indian Meteorological Department has also warned that Phailin is a “very severe cyclonic storm” and is expected to hit the two states Odisha and Andhra Pradesh around 6 pm today. While the predictions are on and likely to affect 1.2 crore people, mass exodus is being carried out with the help of State Government and the Indian Army. So far nearly three lakh people from Odisha’s coastal districts have been evacuated and around 64,000 people have been evacuated from Andhra Pradesh. Besides the Indian Air Force is at high alert along with Indian Navy to face the situation that is expected to cause extensive damage to homes, communication and power systems and crops.
#Phailin Twitter support
Twitteraties have come ahead for support in the form of spreading the news and whatever help can be done via online. The hashtag #Phailin has been trending at the top of the India Twitter Trends since yesterday and not only are users trying to curate information about the developments but also sharing useful contact details that might help someone. Influential people have poured in tweets to do their bit and that helps the message to have more reach.
Indian Meteorological Department, which has a Facebook presence, has been updating with the latest developments about the cyclone. The messages are repetitive and considering the poor reach of Facebook, one would have wished them to be on Twitter with more live activity. Nevertheless, a Twitter Account @Phailin_ Cyclone has been updating about the latest developments by curating tweets.
Besides this the prolific Twitter users are out there doing their bit:
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) October 12, 2013
— Pierre Fitter (@pierrefitter) October 12, 2013
2. 5 lakh people evacuated in Orissa alone- must make it one of the largest 24 hours movement of people in the world #Phailin
— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) October 12, 2013
— kaveri (@ikaveri) October 12, 2013
— Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur) October 11, 2013
1. Google India has already launched the Person Finder.
2. Twitter has created a Cyclone Phailin list about users tweeting live updates about the cyclone.
3. There is a crisis map built by digital volunteers crowdsourcing information about the cyclone from various sources such as social media, blogs, forums, etc.
We would be updating the story with more crucial developments related to Phailin; for now we can wish for minimum destruction.
Image courtesy: Twitter