A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
The Severe Cyclonic Storm Fani (pronounced as Foni) was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Indian state of Odisha since Phailin in 2013. Originated from a tropical depression that was formed from the west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean on 26 April 2019, the cyclone claimed the lives of at least 89 people in eastern India and Bangladesh with unofficial reported number 50 deaths1 in India. The cyclone has brought about US$1.81 billion in damages in both India and Bangladesh, mostly in Odisha, India.
Despite the success in avoiding higher death tolls, the cyclone has severely affected lives and livelihoods of more than 28 million people across three (3) States in India.
Indian Red Cross Society (IRCS) with support from the IFRC requested a DREF allocation of CHF 87,703 to implement disaster response preparedness activities, by mobilizing volunteers and staff in evacuation of people from low laying areas to the cyclone shelters, disseminating early warning messages, conduct needs assessment and provision of household (HH) items. The operation timeframe was initially one-month operation with the target to reach up to 20 million people through early waning messages before the cyclone landfall. Further to this, IRCS deployed an Assessment Team to Odisha state on 8 May 2019 to assess the needs of the affected areas. The plan of action and budget was revised to upscale the relief operation based on the needs on the ground to assist 5,000 families with an additional of CHF 393,517 making up a total of CHF 481,220 with four (4) months of implementation extension period.
Summary of response
Overview of Host National Society
Prior to the cyclone landfall, the state branches of Odisha, Andhra and West Bengal state took measures in preparedness. IRCS state branches were actively involved in disseminating early warning messages, support local authorities at the cyclone shelters and mobilize first aid. The early warning messages was distributed via radio message, megaphones announcement facility at the cyclone shelters and house to house visit.
Odisha State Branch
• IRCS Odisha state branch mobilized in total more than 2,000 number Social Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV) to respond to the situation.
• Coordinate with the local authorities for evacuation of civilians to cyclone shelters.
• Management of a total of 65 Cyclone Shelters coordination are supported by Odisha Red Cross State Branch with additional community based local volunteers.
Andhra and West Bengal State Branch
• Prepared relief supplies ready for dispatch.
• Social and Emergency Response Volunteers (SERV) provided early warning messages and supported the authorities to evacuate vulnerable people.
• Volunteers were deployed at vulnerable areas to provide first aid.
• Coordinated with Meteorological Department and tracking of Cyclone Fani Movement • Coordination with Odisha State Branch on their preparedness and capacity to respond to the disaster • Provided technical support in assessment and designing of the DREF • Coordination with IFRC for DREF launching • Deployment of NDRTs for technical support and hands- on support to IRCS- ODISHA • Mobilising NFI stocks from Warehouse from HQ And Regional level
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country
Both the IFRC and ICRC have a long-established presence in India, with excellent coordination on emergency response operations and long-term programme support to IRCS. The Qatar Red Crescent is supporting IRCS in a recovery programme following the Kerala floods, while the Canadian Red Cross is about to start up activities there also. Qatar Red Crescent supported cyclone Fani operations by donating tarpaulins to Odisha State Branch. Regular coordination is maintained among IFRC, ICRC and IRCS on plans to support the response operation
Overview of non-RCRC actors in country
Disaster management authorities in India led by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) launched a massive operation in preparation for the extremely severe cyclonic storm, evacuation of civilians to cyclone shelters, advising people on what to do and issuing warnings. At the same time the government deployed the army, navy and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for search rescue after the cyclone landfall. For the post disaster response, the government-initiated rehabilitation package for cyclone survivors with funding assistance to rebuild the houses, food distribution, additional one-month pension under Social Security Scheme etc. IRCS maintain a close coordination work with the local authorities in joint effort for preparedness and emergency response to the affected areas. A multisectoral Joint Rapid Needs Assessment was undertaken by the Inter Agency Group, coordinated by Sphere India Chapter and representing over 50 civil society organizations and humanitarian agencies. Link for the assessment report can be accessed here.