Stories

Cyclone Fani Hits India’s East Coast

Cyclone Fani, the strongest storm to hit India in two decades, has left a trail of destruction in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal before moving on to the nation of Bangladesh.

On May 3, 2019, Cyclone Fani made landfall on Odisha’s coast, triggering heavy rainfall coupled with winds up to 108 mph. Large areas were submerged with water as heavy rains battered the entire coast of the state. Many trees were uprooted, and thatched houses destroyed. Strong winds were seen in parts of Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal states as well.

More than 10 million people living in 14,835 villages and 46 towns were affected. And yet, through timely evacuation and precautionary measures taken, far fewer lives were lost than anticipated. In fact, in West Bengal state, there is no report of casualties or major damage—compared to thousands of lives lost in India’s 1999 cyclone. Praise God that effective preparations were made, including hundreds of shelters set up along the coast, which provided safety for many! As we thank God for this, we also mourn the loss of more than 30 lives due to the storm. Will you join us in prayer for the families and friends of these individuals?

We also ask you to pray with us for the Adult Literacy Classes and Year-Long Children’s Bible Clubs affected by Cyclone Fani. Several are on a temporary pause as many participants’ houses were partially damaged and the storm has caused a great deal of disruption in the area. We thank God that there was no major harm to our program participants.

Here is a further breakdown of Cyclone Fani’s impact:

  • Over 30 people have lost their lives and 300 people have been injured.
  • Huge patches of agricultural and horticultural lands have been damaged in Andhra Pradesh state.
  • Medicine vans are being advised to stop in the areas where waterborne diseases are expected, and drinking water is being supplied.
  • Food is being distributed to people in need.
  • Many modes of transportation were cancelled for a brief period of time, including flights, trains, and buses.
  • Around 2,000 electric poles were uprooted in Andhra Pradesh state.
  • Mobile communication is not working well due to cell phone towers damaged.

Additional prayer requests from our partners in India:

  • Pray for the arrangements being made for distribution of food and other essentials in flooded areas.
  • Pray for the safety and wellbeing of all those affected by Cyclone Fani, as the threat of water-borne disease is a concern.
  • Pray for the safety of our ministry partners working in the affected area.
  • Pray for those involved in the rescue and relief operations.

Thank you for joining us in prayer for India’s eastern coastline!