Cyclone Fani: Children’s charity preparing to respond as India evacuates a million people at risk
Plan International spokespeople in India are available for interview.
(LONDON): Global children’s charity Plan International UK is preparing to respond to Cyclone Fani, which made landfall at 08:00 local time (02:30 GMT) in the coastal Odisha state of India today.
15 trained humanitarian staff have been positioned in areas where the cyclone is expected to make landfall and are ready to make a quick assessment in the aftermath so as to know how to respond.
With wind speeds recorded at 200km per hour, the cyclone is categorised as an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ by the Indian Met Department and has been building up in the Bay of Bengal.
After Odisha, the cyclone is expected to head towards the state of West Bengal in India and then cross over into Bangladesh.
The Government of India has mounted large scale evacuations of coastal districts, moving more than a million at-risk people to safer areas. Schools have been closed and trains cancelled.
Plan International’s local office in India is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local humanitarian agencies.
Mohammed Asif, Plan International India’s Program Implementation Director, said:
“We have extensive experience in disaster response in India. Our priority is to address the immediate life-savings needs of communities, like clean water, sanitation and shelter.
“We focus on the needs of children and girls in particular, as we know from more than 80 years of experience that they are among the most vulnerable and face specific risks when disasters strike.”
Plan International has been working in India since 1979 and has been both responding to natural disasters and working with children and their families to prepare for disasters to reduce risks and save lives.