Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Phailin (Thai: ไพลิน meaning “sapphire”) was a tropical cyclone that affected Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and the Indian states of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Odisha,Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The system was first noted as a tropical depression on October 4, 2013 within the Gulf of Thailand, to the west of Pnom Penh in Cambodia. Over the next few days, it moved westwards within an area of low to moderate vertical wind shear, before as it passed over the Malay Peninsula, it moved out of the Western Pacific Basin on October 6. It emerged into the Andaman Sea during the next day and moved west-northwest into an improving environment for further development before the system was named Phailin on October 9, after it had developed into a cyclonic storm and passed over the Andaman and Nicobar Islands into the Bay of Bengal.
During the next day Phailin intensified rapidly and became a very severe cyclonic storm on October 10, while it was equivalent to a category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale (SSHWS). On October 11, the system became equivalent to a category 5 hurricane on the SSHWS before it started to weaken during the next day as it approached the Indian state of Odisha. It made landfall later that day, near Gopalpur in Odisha coast at around 2130 IST (1600 UTC). It subsequently weakened over land as a result of frictional forces, before it was last noted on October 14, as it degenerated into a well marked area of low pressure.
Officials from Odisha’s state government said that around 12 million people may be affected. As part of the preparations, 600 buildings were identified as cyclone shelters and people were evacuated from areas near the coast, including Ganjam, Puri, Khordha and Jagatsinghapur districts in Odisha. The cyclone has prompted India’s biggest evacuation in 23 years with more than 550,000 people moved up from the coastline in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh to safer places.
Courtesy : Wikipedia and Google (images various news portals)