India

Indian media praise for 'splendid' Cyclone Phailin rescue efforts

  • 14 October 2013
  • From the section India
Some families have started returning to their cyclone-hit homes in Orissa
Image caption Some families have started returning to their cyclone-hit homes in Orissa

Media in India are praising the government's efforts in minimising the damage caused by Cyclone Phailin in the coastal states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.

Newspaper say the authorities were better prepared this time and managed to evacuate thousands of people before the cyclone made landfall on Saturday.

A cyclone had killed more than 10,000 people in Orissa in 1999.

The Times of India says the "minimum damageā€¦ could wholly be attributed to remarkable disaster management which, in previous cyclonic conditions, failed with catastrophic human consequences".

"The same state apparatus that appeared to be bumbling and bungling the Uttarakhand flash flood relief earlier this year has, given a minimal amount of time to prepare, organised an evacuation and demonstrated preparedness in Orissa and Andhra Pradesh that is quite admirable in terms of effectiveness and scale," says The Business Standard.

The Asian Age and The Indian Express praise different government departments for their "splendid coordination" in ensuring the safety of thousands of people.

"Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, as well as West Bengal, in tandem with federal agencies, the National Disaster Management Authority and their forces, worked to control the situation, taking hundreds of thousands of people to emergency shelters," The Indian Express says.

The Meteorological Department has also been praised for its accurate prediction of the cyclone.

"This time, the Met Department outdid itself. Its predictions of a 'severe' event, and its estimations of wind speed and storm surge were more accurate than international agencies' predictions of a super-cyclone on par with Hurricane Katrina," The Indian Express, in another report, says.

Newspapers, however, feel that the authorities have to continue their "good work" as thousands have become homeless and swathes of farmland have been destroyed.

"After preparing well to shift the people to safer places, the government now has to face challenges to save them from any possible spread of epidemic," The DNA newspaper says.

The Times of India says "the emergency response teams must now prepare for low-intensity storm surges and flooding."

Meanwhile, a flood alert has been issued in the eastern state of Bihar as the impact of the cyclone has brought torrential rainfall in some districts, the Hindustan Times reports.

Temple tragedy

Newspapers are also expressing sorrow over a stampede near a temple in the central state of Madhya Pradesh in which 109 people died.

"The tragedy was sparked off by rumours that the bridge on Sindh River - through which pilgrims were heading towards the temple - was collapsing," The Times of India says.

"In a huge lapse on part of the administration, heavy vehicles carrying pilgrims were allowed to ply on the bridge. Eye-witnesses claim a clash between two groups of villagers on the bridge forced a minor lathicharge (baton charge) by police which triggered the stampede," the paper adds.

The Hindu says "heart-rending scenes were witnessed as anxious relatives searched for their loved ones from the large number of bodies that lay on the bridge".

Elsewhere, a government-appointed panel has recommended that the country's cinema watchdog must scrutinise film songs to get rid of "vulgar" lyrics, the Hindustan Times reports.

Indian courts have received several complaints in the past few years over "vulgar lyrics" in Bollywood songs.

And finally, many politicians in Delhi are reportedly consulting astrologers to know their fortunes ahead of the upcoming assembly elections, the Hindustan Times reports.

"Most of them want to do everything at an auspicious time. They are more worried about their own prospects than that of their parties," the paper quotes astrologer BB Sharma as saying.

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