Plan International is preparing to respond to Cyclone Fani, which has made landfall this afternoon in the coastal Odisha state of India, with wind speeds recorded at 200km per hour.
The cyclone is categorised as an ‘extremely severe cyclonic storm’ by the Indian Met Department and has been building up in the Bay of Bengal. Eastern coastal states are at risk, including Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
The Government of India has mounted large scale evacuations of coastal districts, moving more than two million at-risk people to safer areas. Schools have been closed and trains cancelled.
Plan International’s local office in India is closely monitoring the situation and coordinating with local humanitarian agencies. Plan International has been working in India since 1979, and has been both responding to natural disasters, and working with children and their families to prepare for disasters to reduce risks and save lives.
Mohammed Asif, Plan International India’s Program Implementation Director said:
“We are monitoring the situation closely and have positioned a team of 15 trained humanitarian staff in areas where the cyclone is expected to make landfall, who are ready to make a quick assessment in the aftermath so we can best respond.
“We have extensive experience in disaster response in India. Our priority is to address the immediate life-savings needs of communities, like clean water, sanitation and shelter.
“We focus on the needs of children and girls in particular, as we know from more than 80 years of experience, that they are among the most vulnerable and face specific risks when disasters strike.”
About Plan International
Plan International is a leading girls’ rights agency. We work alongside children, young people, supporters and partners in more than 75 countries to tackle the root causes of injustices facing girls and the most marginalised children. We respond to emergencies to meet the needs of children and their families as quickly as possible, and we continue working with these communities afterwards to help them recover and rebuild their lives. We also work with children and their families to prepare for disasters, helping to reduce risks and save lives.
Our local office, Plan International Australia funds programs supporting children in more than 25 countries, as well as sponsorship, emergency response and disaster risk reduction programs across the federation.