ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Orissa : Cyclone and After

Faced with the unprecedent health situation after the cyclone, the health department had to use innovative measures to bring medical help to the needy and to prevent post-disaster epidemic situations.

The cyclonic storm and floods that devastated Orissa in late October 1999 put the state health department under tremendous pressure in providing emergency medical relief, coping with the problems of environmental sanitation, coordinating external assistance and more importantly, preventing epidemics and managing stress disorders.

Forecasts from the meteorological office from October 26 onwards warned of a severe cyclone that would strike the coast of Orissa somewhere between Gopalpur (in southern Orissa) and the Sagar Islands (in West Bengal) in approximately 48 hours. Later warnings indicated that the cyclone had intensified into a ‘super cyclone’. When the cyclone finally slammed into the coast of Orissa at Paradeep on October 29 and 30, it left the state in a condition of stunned stupefaction. Never before had a calamity of such ferocity struck the state.

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