Friday, October 25, 2013

Cyclone Philian

We can’t avoid natural disasters, can we? Unable to do anything, knowing and able to judge the havoc which can be caused, we just sit protected in our rooms. But what about the poor people, who don’t have good strong houses? I saw two natural disasters in my life of 27yrs and both were cyclones. One in the year 1999, when cyclone had hit the coastal belt of Orissa. The speed was around 120 to 140 kmph. It lasted for an hour and killed so many people, rendered many homeless. Actually it was a surprise for the people. They didn’t expect it be such huge and the worst thing was they didn’t have the idea of what a cyclone is and what it can do. They just thought it is going to be raining all night and the wind will travel faster. The cyclone hit around 11pm and the next morning, all the electric poles, big trees, small houses had fallen. We didn’t have electricity for about a month. Thank god we were not attached to many electronic goods during that time.Each one helping the needy. Faith in humanity was restored.

Again a cyclone nick named as Pilian hit Orissa in the mid of October. This time, IMD had predicted its intensity and timing perfectly. I don’t know if they got lucky or the lesson of 1999 had taught them well. They evacuated nearly 200000 people to safer places. The speed this time was expected to be 200 to 240 kmph and was expected to be huge. It was compared to the bigger cyclones which had caused havoc in other parts of the world. That is the reason; deaths were very low this time. It was near to 100. In terms of havoc, electric poles were twisted, bent and had fallen. Huge trees which were very old fell, few big trees fell on nearby houses and shops. But the bigger problem was the third party people, who hiked the prices of vegetables and other groceries, as everyone was hoarding it for 2-3 days. The potatoes price increased from 10rs in the morning to 40rs by 5pm.There were long queues at petrol bunks, and if we wanted to buy from any other vendor, it was 10rs extra. After the cyclone, the people who made lot of money were the ones renting generators, they charged about 1000rs per hour and the generators from small to big, all were in demand and ran 24 by 7 at some or the other house. The funniest and money minting business was mobile charging. I guess reliance opened a stall for charging mobiles and chaged 20rs per hour. Each extension board was connected to many other extensions. Shows us how we were dependent on mobile phones. Thanks to Bsnl for taking the lines underground, unlike last time, we atleast had landline connectivity this time. But I had my fun, as I wanted to experience the cyclone and have a feel of the energy it had. Went to my terrace and stood on that wall and was sure not to drift and would have fallen in a safer location. The intensity of the wind was tremendous so as the shunting from my mother. Anyways the havoc has ended and I don’t wish to see any natural disaster again in my life!!! Very few snaps the next morning. 

Few trees inclined due to the winds 

Many trees had fallen across the city on cables and houses

the bent and twisted electric pole. 

Few fallen trees 


  1. Soul touching indeed !!!! but definitely cannot avoid natural disasters...

    1. yes, we cannot avoid natural disasters just can do our best to reduce the impact.

  2. Nicely presented, Niranjan.
    So unfortunate that we have to see such disasters that cause so much destruction of life.
    You are right about the make-money-people who make the most of such situations by extracting money! Prices are astronomically high, and worse, things aren't available.
    Am aware coz it's my grandparents' place...
    Hope ALL IS WELL soon...

    1. yeah, things are getting better slowly and hoping for a speedy recovery to the people and the city.

  3. Nature's fury can't be avoided but this time I was happy the Govt.took necessary precautions beforehand and the loss was very minimized as compared to 1998 scenario..

  4. What can one say, we cant fight against nature. We can only do and pray to get the lives of the people back on track as soon as possible.