- POSTED: 13 Oct 2013 21:36
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Fourteen people were killed in Cyclone Phailin which lashed India's east coast over the weekend and caused widespread destruction, a top disaster official said on Sunday.
NEW DELHI: Fourteen people were killed in Cyclone Phailin which lashed India's east coast over the weekend and caused widespread destruction, a top disaster official said on Sunday.
"There are 13 deaths in Orissa and one death reported in Andhra Pradesh and so we have been able to... (keep) the death toll to a bare minimum," vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority Marri Shashidhar Reddy told reporters.
Reddy said relief and rescue operations were in full swing after the cyclone made landfall on Saturday night, leaving a trail of destruction in the states of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh.
He told a press conference in New Delhi that 685 kilometres (425 miles) of roads have already been cleared of trees and other debris.
"After the exaggerated manner international agencies tried to portray it (the cyclone and disaster), the NDMA has done an excellent job," he said.
Reddy made the comments after foreign meteorologists had warned before the storm hit of higher wind speeds and greater damage than Indian weather forecasters were predicting.
The cyclone is the biggest to hit India in 14 years, and around one million people were evacuated and forced to take refuge in shelters and public buildings as the cyclone flattened flimsy homes and uprooted trees.