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

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Re-evaluation of Success

Evacuation during Cyclones Phailin and Hudhud

An examination of public evacuation carried out during the cyclonic storms Phailin and Hudhud, both of which struck the east coast of India on 12 October 2013 and 2014, respectively, argues that in both cases there was lack of clarity over the nature of risk posed by the cyclones. Consequently, inadequate emphasis was given to tidal inundation. In the case of Phailin, evacuation strategies were found oriented towards total number of people to be shifted rather than safety of most vulnerable, and similar ambiguity reflected. Meanwhile during the strike of Hudhud, people living in concrete houses were excluded from evacuating to safe shelters. Most alarmingly, in both the locations, where the cyclones made landfall, a majority of residents did not go outside of their habitats in spite of being at maximum risk. It, thus, calls for an urgent scrutiny of policies and plans before such practice of headcount that fails to differentiate danger level, becomes a measure of success.

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