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Nation/World

October 14, 2013

Mass evacuation before Indian cyclone limited toll

(Continued)

“The trees and the buildings could not be saved, but the people have been evacuated, so the human toll was contained so far,” said Naresh Sharma, a commander with the Indian Central Reserve Police Force.

For the people living along the coast, many of whom live as subsistence farmers in mud-and-thatch huts, the economic toll will be immense.

Heavy rains and surging seawater destroyed more than 1.23 million acres of crops worth an estimated $395 million, according to Orissa’s disaster minister, S.N. Patro.

British Prime Minister David Cameron described the damage as “shocking,” and said in a Twitter message that Britain would do “what it can to help.”

With some of the world’s warmest waters, the Indian Ocean is a cyclone hot spot, and 27 of the 35 deadliest known storms in history — including the 1999 cyclone — have come through the Bay of Bengal and landed in either India or Bangladesh.

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