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India: Tropical Cyclone: 1999/10/28 Country Information on DRR

Period 1999/10/28
Country or District India
Event Type Tropical Cyclone
Outline The cyclone originated in the Bay of Bengal hit the east India. The death toll in a giant cyclone that tore across eastern India could run into thousands. Windspeeds of 150 to 160 miles per hour were measured in Bhubaneshwar, capital of Orissa state.
Human Impact Physical Impact Others
OCHA Situation Report No.10 1999/11/15
According to the Natural Disaster Management (NDM) Control Room at the Ministry of Agriculture, Central Government of India, the death toll now stands at 9,465 and the affected population totals 12.625 million. The affected crop area totals 1.603 million hectares.
All state roads and major district roads have become operational in all the affected districts except Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara.
It is reported that almost all the hand pumps are in operation.
Essential power supply to Bhubaneshwar, Khurda, Cuttack and Puri has been repaired. However, supply to consumers is only partly restored due to extensive damage to distribution lines.
OCHA Situation Report No.9 1999/11/10
The Government of India has just released a death toll figure of 7,474. This increase relates to the discovery of thousands of bodies in coastal areas as flood waters recede. 90 - 100 % loss of crop is reported in the affected districts, as the cyclone hit at the most vulnerable time for paddy crop. The next harvest period would be in April-May 2000. A serious shortage of essential food items in the affected districts is evident.
About 11,000 local schools have been badly damaged/destroyed. Some of the remaining schools are being used as shelter for the homeless.
Over 1.5 million shelters are urgently required. The usefulness of bringing tents from abroad is highly questionable, as tents are not normally used here. Plastic sheets (or similar materials) are recommended. Light blankets are also needed.
Assets such as boats and tree plantations, which will take many years to restore, have been lost. Signs of migration out of the affected districts are already reported.
Due to large-scale inundation, there is a widespread contamination of drinking water sources. Outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases are already being reported in spite of enormous preventive measures.. Safe drinking water is a serious problem, as there is no electric power, many hand pumps are damaged and numerous wells, tanks, ponds and canals are polluted. Sanitary conditions have seriously worsened, due to waterlogging and extensive damage to sewerage systems.
Cattle deaths are very significant. Milk cows are lost as a source of income and food, and bullocks - as means to plough the land.
CNN News 1999/11/04 13:45GMT
The toll could reach 10,000 to 20,000. Some officials said 799 deaths had been confirmed so far. A relief commissioner told that they have received the most bodies from Jagatsinghpur district where is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Bhubaneshwar, the capital of Orissa state.
Officials said it will take a month to fully restore power, weeks to repair the phone system, and days to fix roads.
The economic damage could be in the billions of dollars.
OCHA Situation Report No.6 1999/11/04
8.2 million people have been affected and the officially reported confirmed number of casualties stands at 426. However, according to unofficial newspaper reports, the number of casualties may be significantly higher. 275,000 houses have been destroyed and 323,000 hectares of crops have been damaged. 600 government buildings and 1,200 school buildings have been destroyed/damaged in Jagatsinghpur alone
IFRC Report 1999/11/01
It is feared that thousands of people may have died. Thousands of families in desperate need of shelter, blankets, food and medicine.
Vast areas of land in Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Puri and Bhubaneshwar districts are now under water. The storm ripped through hundreds of thousands of houses in Orissa State, devastated crops and tore down power lines.
OCHA Situation Report No.3 1999/11/01
According to information released by the Government and by UNDP in India, more than ten million people, that is about one third of the population, have been affected in eight districts of the state of Orissa. Thousands of houses, uprooted trees and snapped telecommunication and power lines were destroyed.The worst affected districts are Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Khurda, Puri and Cuttack. Paradip port has been completely devastated. The industrial town of Cuttack has been severely damaged and the cyclone wiped out crops along a 140-kilometer stretch of the coast. Many villages in the path of the cyclone have been totally submerged. It is reported that the entire coastal region is still without electricity and potable water. The Government reported that telephone lines had been partially restored in Orissa.
CNN News 1999/10/31 11:02GMT
At least 14 villages in the immediate area of Baleshwar were totally submerged, villagers said. 15,000 people were taking shelter in one college building in the city. As many as 15 million people live in the stricken area and millions among them may be displaced, the administrator said. The senior administrator of Baleshwar district, said the cyclone devastated Paradwip port, severely damaged the industrial town of Cuttack, demolished a steel plant and wiped out crops along a 140-kilometer (85-mile) coastal area.
The cyclone roared into Orissa state from the Bay of Bengal Friday, just 12 days after another cyclone devastated the same region and killed more than 100 people.
BBC News 1999/10/31 06:49GMT
In total, about 10 million people have been affected by the storm, which generated winds of over 250km/h (160mph).
Many towns and villages remain completely cut off and large tracts of coastline are still under water. Officials say 1.5 million are homeless.
The cyclone ripped through the port town of Paradwip, then moved on to Bhubaneshwar, 90km (55 miles) from the coast. It destroyed road, rail and air links and toppled communications lines.
From Orissa, there have been reports of looting by hungry villagers.
CNN News 1999/10/30 15:56 GMT
The death toll in a giant cyclone that tore across eastern India could run into thousands Between 200,000 to 300,000 houses had been damaged.
The full extent of the damage could not be assessed because roads were closed and telephones and electricity were out.

Related Links


Latest updates on the Cyclone in India (ReliefWeb)
A list of the latest major documents added to ReliefWeb pertaining to the Cyclone in India.

Asahi Newspaper (
Japanese only

AFPNews 1999/11/22
The death toll touched 9,800 on Monday, officials from the eastern state of Orissa told AFP. The cyclone with winds of up to 280 kilometres (174 miles) per hour, rendered one million homeless, drowned 375,000 cattle, affected 15 million people and virtually wiped away Orissa's infrastructure.

Reuters 1999/11/19

AFP 1999/11/16

OCHA Situation Report No.10 1999/11/15

Reuters 1999/11/12

Reuters 1999/11/12

AFP 1999/11/12

AFP 1999/11/11

United Nations Special Report on Orissa Super Cyclone

OCHA Situation Report No.9 1999/11/10
The joint assessment mission carried out by three members of the UNDAC team, WHO, UNICEF, WFP and a representative of USAID has been completed. The Government of India has just released a death toll figure of 7,474. This increase relates to the discovery of thousands of bodies in coastal areas as flood waters recede. The most severely affected districts are Balasore, Bhadrak, Cuttack, Ganjam, Jagatsinghapur, Jajpur and Kendrapara. This report includes detail list of needs for assistance.

CNN News 1999/11/09 19:26GMT

BBC News 1999/11/08 22:23GMT

CNN News 1999/11/07 17:20GMT

OCHA Situation Report No.8 1999/11/07

BBC News 1999/11/07 17:37GMT

CNN News 1999/11/05 10:15GMT

OCHA Situation Report No.7 1999/11/05

BBC News 1999/11/05 05:30GMT
State officials said the bodies needed to be burned quickly to reduce the threat from disease.

CNN News 1999/11/04 13:45GMT
Waterborne illnesses like diarrhea already are beginning to spread in areas flooded by the cyclone. Farmland is swamped and littered with the bodies of storm victims and carcasses of livestock.

OCHA Situation Report No.6 1999/11/04

CNN News 1999/11/03 20:28GMT
As relief workers tried to bring in supplies, hundreds of people tried to stop every car, bus or jeep that passed, seizing not only food but whatever was available. There were widespread complaints of looting, robbery and women being raped

BBC News 1999/11/03 10:05GMT
Aid workers in India are warning of epidemics and malnutrition

CNN News 1999/11/01 16:03GMT
Media reports said as many as 3,000 people may have died in the disaster, but there was no official death toll or damage assessment. The government said in a statement that at least 2 million people in almost 2,000 villages had been affected by the storm.

BBC News 1999/11/01 12:44GMT
Relief operations are finally gathering momentum. The military is taking a lead role bringing in supplies and restoring essential services. The airport in the state capital Bhubaneshwar has reopened, and flights bringing in media, aid workers and politicians are said to have landed. A train carrying 50 tonnes of medical supplies is reported to be on its way to the cyclone-hit areas from New Delhi, following the restoration of rail lines. Navy ships bearing food, candles, clothes and other relief materials are heading towards Paradip port in Orissa, according to a government statement.

CNN News 1999/10/31 11:02GMT
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, after an emergency Cabinet meeting late Saturday, declared a national disaster and announced federal assistance of one billion rupees ($ 23 million).

BBC News 1999/10/31 06:49GMT
Telecommunications are beginning to be restored in the state of Orissa, but there is still no clear assessment of the number of casualties, and fears have been expressed that thousands could have been killed. Initial reports put the death toll at 232, but it is expected to rise dramatically in the coming days.

DECCAN HERALD 1999/10/30
The Centre decided to treat the disaster as a 'national calamity'


Reuters News 1999/10/29 GMT
Indian Army Evacuates People Ahead Of Cyclone

CNN News 1999/10/30 15:56 GMT
Thousands feared dead in India cyclone

Geographycal Data

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
The powerful Tropical Cyclone makes landfall into northeastern India with very heavy rain and winds of 135 knots. This is the second tropical cyclone to hit this area in as many weeks.

[ERI Emergency Relief Information]

OCHA-Geneva Contributions Report

OCHA Situation Report No.5 1999/11/03

OCHA Situation Report No.4 1999/11/02
1,977 villages in 10 districts have been severely affected. So far, the measures had been taken by the Indian Government are: the provision of 500 tonnes of food items, 500 tonnes of life saving drugs and 50 tonnes of other medical supplies; Transport of food items from Vizag in Andhra Pradesh to Paradip port in Orissa; Arranged air transport of 400,000 halogen tablets from Calcutta; The deployment of 3 medical teams from Delhi. The Air Force and the Navy are also engaged in the provision and transportation of their stock to Orissa including airdropping operations. IFRC has launched its emergency appeal seeking CHF 4,300,000 (approx. USD 2,810,000) in cash, kind and services to assist 50,000 families for 3 months. IFRC is also contributing CHF 200,000 (approx. USD 131,000) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund for the operation in Orissa.

IFRC Report 1999/11/01
The International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies today appealed for four million Swiss francs to provide vital aid to the thousands of people left homeless and without livelihoods by the devastating cyclone. Disaster relief experts from Delhi and Dhaka are already in Orissa with the Indian Red Cross assessing what is needed. Teams of Indian Red Cross volunteers, sent to help after the first cyclone, are currently working with local authorities to distribute emergency food, clothing and shelter materials to the latest victims.

OCHA Situation Report No.3 1999/11/01
The Prime Minister has declared the disaster in Orissa as a national calamity. The federal Government has promised a grant of 3 billion rupees (approx. USD 69.284 million). Also the Government issued special orders to the states and public sector units to come to Orissa to help, deployed teams of railway and Ministry of Surface Transport officers as well as several engineers, to restore rail, road and other communication links and deployed teams of doctors. Also deployed are 1 IL76 plane and 6 MI helicopters to air drop food and other essential items. Satellite telephone sets, portable generators and other specialized items were supplied. The army is sending personnel, including infantry battalions, engineers with bridging equipment and flat-bottomed boats, and signal detachments. A field medical unit comprising 30 ambulances and 340 doctors and paramedics has left for Orissa. A unit of 2,000 soldiers is already in the region. OCHA has released an emergency grant of USD 50,000 for local purchase of relief items.

Urgent Report from Supporting Members of the Asian Disaster Reduction Center

A report from India Government
Damage caused by Super Cyclone Oct 29-31, 1999