OT?: Marooned Millions In East India Await Relief

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This will tug at your heart...

Yahoo Page: Marooned Millions In East India Await Relief


Many detailed links abailable. Y2K looks small in comparison but the lessons are there to learned.


*Some* of the key news stories...

- Mass cremation begins in Paradip - The Hindustan Times (11/04/99)

- Orissa authorities brace up to prevent epidemic outbreak - Deccan Herald (11/04/99)

- Airdropping of food continues - The Hindu (11/04/99)

- Food Yet To Reach India Cyclone Millions - Reuters (11/04/99)

- Hundreds die in Vietnam floods - BBC (11/03/99)

- India Relief Teams Battle Cyclone Calamity - Reuters (11/03/99)

- Relief workers in desperate race against time after Indian cyclone - AFP. (11/03/99)

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 04, 1999


Thanks Diane. Off to read those. Special interest in India ...

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), November 04, 1999.

Meanwhile Bill Clinton is giving ALgore lessons on how to be an "alpha-male" and fighting for no 1% reduction in the budget.

As Diane said, it tugs at your heart. It also makes you realize how easily and suddenly our "normal" lives can become completely disarrayed.

-- Jon Johnson (narnia4@usa.net), November 04, 1999.

Just another... 3-day storm? Shades of North Carolina?

And then the Y2K "whatever" hits in less than 60 days. Will they be ready? Will the rest of the world be able to help, when Mother Nature calls... on top of everything else?

*Big Sad Sigh*


Mass cremation begins in Paradip


[Fair Use: For Educational/Research Purposes Only]

HTCs and Agencies (Bhubaneswar/Paradip, November 3)

IT IS becoming increasingly clear that the magnitude of the horror and havoc wrought by last Friday's super cyclone that struck coastal Orissa is only just beginning to sink in.

Benumbing reports of a looming epidemic, widespread damage to property and the inestimable loss of life kept trickling in with each slow advance of rescue-relief teams into the worst-affected areas.

Earthmovers and dumpers had to be enlisted to clear highly-decomposed bodies en bloc in Paradip and its outskirts as the administration prepared for mass burials, six days after the cyclone left a long trail of devastation.

Survivors who have had little to eat and only unprotected water to drink for last four days targeted administration officials and anything that moved relief material.

Normalisation of power supply in the areas hit by the cyclone could take up to a month, Power Grid Corporation CMD R.P. Singh said.

The demand for food and potable water far outstrips availability and there were heart-rending accounts of free-for-alls between desperate people at relief distribution centres. Inundation of many areas across the course of the cyclone remain only part of the problem: floating corpses and carcass have made the threat of diseases of epidemic proportions real. Unconfirmable estimates put loss of human life at around 5,000; Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang himself said it may not be as high as feared, while Union Minister Joel Oram said it could be 1,000.

There were news agency reports from the port city of Paradip gastro- enteritis has broken out and the local administration, with Central and International Red Cross help, is redoubling its efforts to contain it. The Union Health Ministry has sent a team of 20 doctors and an unspecified amount of medical supplies. (In Bhuba-neswar, CM Gamang strenously denied epidemics had broken out).

Experts fear diseases, specially cholera, typhoid and hepatitis, could be widespread within the first 10 days of the cyclone, and insect- borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and japanese encephalitis in 10 days thereafter.

(In New Delhi, DGHS officials said 60 lakh units of life-saving drugs and 20 lakh chlorine tablets, 160 million tonnes of bleaching powder and 50,000 litres of phenyl for disinfection have been despatched, along with 6 lakh bottles of intravenous fluids, 3 lakh packets of oral rehydration salts and 4 lakh IV drip sets.)

Around 5,000 trucks are stuck since Friday on national highway No. 5 following an 80- metre breach on it near Jhamjhari. The NH 5 is a key arterial road that links Calcutta and Chennai. "I have been surving on damp biscuits since last Friday and I cannot leave my truck for fear of it being looted," said driver A.P. Singh, some 5 km from Soro. The Balasore district administration has since stopped truck traffic into the state from West Bengal.

At Calcutta's Babughat inter state bus terminus, emotional reunions were the order of the day as hundreds of stranded tourists _ mostly to the temple town of Puri _ returned hom from cyclone-ravaged areas of Orissa. The first fleet of 15 fully packed buses were followed by five more a little later.

The NGO SOS Children's Village announced it would take care of the young ones orphaned by the cyclone.

The state governments of Kerala, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura, among others, pledged aid ranging from Rs 50 lakh to Rs 2 crore, as did the Union Steel and Mines ministry (Rs 2 crore) headed by Mr Dilip Ray, who hails from the Orissa steel city of Rourkela.

In New Delhi, the BJP announced the party had collected Rs 3.28 crore so far for the cyclone -affected and exhorted partymen to volunteer for relief work.

The Congress Working Commi-ttee, with all the partys Chief Ministers as invitees, is to meet in New Delhi on November 5 to discuss the situation in Orissa and help with relief operations..

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), November 04, 1999.

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