TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

India avoids widespread deaths in cyclone

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, 7:51 p.m.
 

BEHRAMPUR, India — Mass evacuations spared India the widespread deaths many had feared from a powerful cyclone that roared ashore during the weekend, officials said on Sunday as the country sorted through the wreckage of flooded towns, tangled power lines and tens of thousands of destroyed thatch homes.

Cyclone Phailin, the strongest storm to hit India in more than a decade, destroyed hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of crops, but more than 20 hours after it made landfall in Orissa state on the country's east coast, authorities said they knew of 17 fatalities.

The final death toll is expected to climb as officials reach areas of the cyclone-battered coast that remain isolated by downed communication links and blocked roads, but the evacuation of nearly 1 million people appeared to have saved many lives.

On the highway to the seaside city of Gopalpur, where the storm made landfall early Saturday night, two tractor-trailers with shattered windshields were lying on their sides, while a hotel nearby was in tatters, with tables and chairs strewn about.

“We were terrified,” A-1 Hotel owner Mihar Ranjan said of himself and 14 others who had been huddling inside when the wind ripped the tin roof off the building.

Gopalpur's power lines sagged nearly to the ground, and a strong surf churned off the coast. But some shops were opened, doing brisk business selling bottled drinks and snacks.

“Everyone feels very lucky,” said Prabhati Das, a 40-year-old woman who came from the town of Behrampur, about 7 miles inland.

A cargo ship carrying iron ore, the MV Bingo, sank Saturday as the cyclone barreled through the Bay of Bengal, and its crew of 18 went missing for a day, coast guard officials said. They were being rescued on Sunday evening.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
  2. Scientists warn about killer robots
  3. Gunbattle kills 21 at Afghan wedding party
  4. On final day in Kenya, Obama makes it personal in call for reform
  5. Chinese woman crushed to death in escalator
  6. U.S., Turkey plan for ‘safe zone’ free of ISIS in northern Syria
  7. French students unearth 560,000-year-old tooth, oldest body part found in country
  8. China returns passport to artist Ai Weiwei, who plans London trip
  9. Boehner vows to do ‘everything possible’ to scuttle Iran nuclear deal
  10. Israelis remember how summer conflict affected beach ritual
  11. Defense secretary touts success of Kurdish fighters in war on ISIS