Press release

Christian Aid responds to devastation as Cyclone Fani hits India 

Around a million people have been evacuated as Cyclone Fani made landfall in India today, hitting the poorest state of Odisha the hardest and leaving many without power and communications lines.

This is one of the strongest storms to hit the region and is expected to bear down on Bangladesh this evening.

Madara Hettiarachchi, Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Christian Aid, said:  “The cyclone is causing heavy devastation; trees have been uprooted, airports are shut and electricity has been cut off. Our local partners are responding quickly in India, prioritising the most vulnerable. They will airlift shelter items and provide food and water filters to those in relief camps and cyclone shelters.

“Winds of up to 100km/h are now being felt in the coastal areas of Bangladesh where one million people are likely to be affected. Up to 30,000 have taken shelter but there isn’t enough food, water or sanitation provisions to meet the scale of need. We are expecting the cyclone to reach Bangladesh tonight and we are ready to respond.

“We shouldn’t wait for the situation to get worse, or for more people to die. We need to act now.”

Christian Aid has helped people in India and Bangladesh to prepare for disasters over several years but is appealing for much needed support to respond to the scale of need.

Country programme and humanitarian staff in India and Bangladesh are available for interview on request.  If you would like further information, please contact the 24 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950