12th October 2013...between 20:00 to 21:00 hrs....India's East Coast....WE knew where it was coming....WE knew when it was coming....WE were waiting....it did come and WE won....
Let's salute the scientists of India Meteorological Department (IMD) for the accurate forecasts, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for developing and putting in place weather satellites, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for being prepared for the worst, Indian Air Force (IAF) for its preparedness for relief and rescue operations, State and Central Governments, Police, Military, Local Administration and all other agencies involved for giving effect to the India's largest ever evacuation plan. They made us feel proud. It was a herculean task indeed!!!
Scientists were able to accurately forecast the exact date, time, location and intensity of the Super Cyclone Phailin, 72 hours in advance. They gave the advance intimation and from then, all these agencies took over. Close to 1 million people were evacuated to safe shelters and rescue camps, even though some were disbelieving the warnings and were not ready to leave their homes and belongings behind. NDMA/NDRF started the preparations and planning for distributing food packets, medicines, restoring water supply etc. IAF kept its choppers and fleet ready at various nearest airbases.
There were conflicting reports from International agencies about the anticipated intensity. US Navy Joint Typhoon Warning Centre and Britain's Met Office were warning that it would be a Super Cyclone. Renowned American meteorologist Eric Holthaus said that IMD is underestimating the intensity and it would be a Category 5 Super Cyclone. But IMD maintained its stand and forecasted it not to be Category 5 Super Cyclone with wind gusts of 200-240 km/h.
Then it came at around 21:00 hrs on 12th October 2013 and made a landfall near Gopalpur in Odisha State, with a wind speed of almost 220 km/h. It was exactly as predicted and WE were able to save the lives of so many people.
The damage to the property was something that is inevitable, but nothing is more precious than human life.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that this time, it was felt that WE are fighting this calamity collectively, without any mutual criticism, politics etc. and various agencies appeared to work in tandem.
Now that WE have averted the deaths, it is important that those who have lost everything should get every possible aid to restore their normal life.
Today is Dussehra and let's celebrate VijayaDashami today with this well deserved Vijay (win).