13 October 2013
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The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal in response to the devastating Cyclone Phailin, which struck eastern coastal areas of India yesterday.
Initial assessments by the Indian Red Cross show that 8 million people have been affected by the disaster with over 200,000 houses damaged.
The British Red Cross this afternoon released an initial £50,000 from its Disaster Fund to provide immediate relief to survivors, and has appealed to members of the public to donate to its emergency appeal.
Pete Garratt, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said: “All indications point to sterling work by Indian authorities in saving lives. However, we are aware that Cyclone Phailin has left a massive trail of destruction, the impact of which will prove devastating to people’s livelihoods and health.
“The full extent of Cyclone Phailin's impact is still unknown, but we are aware that thousands have lost their homes and livelihoods and crops have been destroyed. Initial reports from our colleagues at the Indian Red Cross show that 8 million people are affected, with 200,000 rural houses damaged. Therefore, a large number of the evacuees cannot return home in the short term,” Garratt said.
The Red Cross is already on the ground, urgently working to reach vulnerable families with food and livelihoods support, but needs further help to fund its efforts
To support the British Red Cross India Cyclone appeal please visit www.redcross.org.uk/indiacyclone or call 0845 054 7200
“Roads and bridges have also been affected, leaving some areas cut off. We therefore appeal to the public to support with donations and aid the Indian people in recovering from this disaster,” Garratt explained.
The Indian government, with the support of the Indian Red Cross Society, has evacuated at least 800,000 people in Odisha and Andhra Prahesh states. Relief camps have also been set up in cyclone shelters, schools and public buildings.
Experts have compared Phailin with a super cyclone in 1999 that killed 10,000 people when it battered the coast of Odisha with wind speeds reaching 300 km per hour.
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
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