The World Daily
East India villages left marooned by cyclone



By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | MAY 27th 2021


According to officials on Thursday, hundreds of villages had been left cut off from authorities and services following a powerful cyclone that had swept through the low-lying lands in Eastern India. Residents are trapped by waters, and five people have been killed.

The cyclone, which had been named ‘Cyclone Yaas,’ had torn through India’s Odisha state with windspeeds of 140 kilometers per hour on Wednesday. The effects were so powerful that winds and tidal waters had even been whipped around in the neighbouring Bangladesh. The storm was powerful and was confirmed to have taken the lives of at least five people thus far.

“We have been experiencing heavy rainfall and strong winds since last night,” said a resident of Balasore district which was in the path of the cyclone, Bibhu Prasad Panda. “Several trees have been uprooted. The cyclone has also led to snapping of overhead electricity cables.”

This is the second storm to hit the country within the space of a week, and comes at a particularly bad time as India is in the midst of a struggle against a fresh and dangerous wave of the coronavirus, raging through its population.

India’s healthcare system has already been stretched fairly thin due to the virus, having seen 27 million cases since the outbreak, as well as over 315,000 deaths. It’s becoming difficult enough for relief efforts to help those in a crisis, but with the hundreds of low-lying villages in eastern India left cut off and marooned by the flood waters, the task is proving far more difficult than it usually would have been.

According to the state of Odisha’s top bureaucrat, Suresh Mahapatra, relief had successfully been given to 124 villages that had been affected by the storms and that at least 2 people have been killed in the state. There are other villages that have yet been unreached, however, though progress is being made towards providing relief.

“I have never seen a tidal surge rising to this level. It flooded many villages and washed away houses. Many people are marooned,” said an official in the coastal district of Khulna, Humayum Kabir.


Bangladesh authorities had also reported the flooding of multiple villages as a cause of the cyclone, perpetuated by heavy rainfall and the low-lying coastal lands. The authorities had also reported three deaths, two of which were caused by drowning, and the third having occurred via hard collision with a tree.

“This cyclone spells double trouble for millions of people in India as there is no respite from Covid-19,” said South Asia head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Udaya Regmi.

The relief camps in West Bengal had become host to around 500,000 people who were in desperate need of shelter, and though measures have been taken by officials to minimise the spread of coronavirus as much as possible, some are still concerned.

“Flood shelters have quarantine rooms for those showing symptoms of COVID-19 like fever, sore throat, body ache,” said a medical officer in the Gosaba area, Dr Indranil Bargi.

Dr Bargi added that the rapid antigen test is being used to test people for cases of the coronavirus, and that anybody testing positive is to be taken over to a safe home of sorts, where the risk of infecting others is massively lowered. Such places are set up in schools and offices, he added.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2021