India: 35 million people in the path of Super Cyclone Phailin

By Theodore Sam and Kathryn Reid , World Vision On October 11, 2013

This potentially catastrophic storm - equivalent to the size of Hurricane Katrina - is expected to make landfall in India on Saturday evening local time. World Vision's teams are on high alert, preparing a potential emergency response.

With maximum sustained winds approaching 162 mph, Cyclone Phailin is menacing Andhra Pradesh and Odisha states on the eastern coast of India. Landfall is expected around 6 p.m. local time on October 12.

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According to media reportsExternal Link, 35 million people are in the path of Phailin, which is the strongest storm in the world this year. The storm surge from Phailin could bring a 20-foot-high wall of water into densely populated coastal areas, experts say.

Seven World Vision development programs serving more than 18,000 sponsored children and their communities are within the storm's projected impact area, say national staff. Relief items are ready for transport to the area when necessary.

"All our [development program areas] have been put on high alert," said Kunal Shah, head of disaster response for World Vision in India. He said communities have activated their disaster preparedness plans and are coordinating with government disaster management teams.

World Vision disaster risk reduction training included action steps for families to protect their livestock and other means of livelihood.

Help now

Please pray for the millions of people in the path of this potentially catastrophic storm. Pray that damage would be minimal, and pray for first responders as they work to prepare vulnerable communities and move emergency assistance into place.

Make a one-time donation to World Vision's Disaster Response Fund. Your gift will help us respond with life-saving assistance in the aftermath of sudden-onset emergencies around the world, like Cyclone Phailin.

© 2013 World Visio