Cyclone Phailin, with winds currently in excess of 160 miles per hour, will make landfall this weekend, though winds and rain are already beginning to lash the coast. This giant cyclone is the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Katrina was a category 3 hurricane when it made landfall in Louisiana. Phailin is expected to be the strongest cyclone to hit India in 14 years and officials have ordered the evacuation of all areas within 10 kilometers of the impact area. The National Disaster Management Authority estimates that twelve million people along India’s eastern coast face mass disruption.
Indian officials are asking NGOs like Oxfam to prepare their response plans. Oxfam is poised to respond, with staff, partners, and stocks of water and sanitation materials ready to deploy to hard-hit areas. Oxfam staff will be monitoring the storm and its impact throughout the weekend.
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