NEW DELHI, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Indian authorities Thursday said the death toll in last week's powerful tropical cyclone in the eastern state of Odisha rose to 38.
"So far, 38 bodies have been found in Odisha even as flood waters are still receding in many districts. The Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force personnel are helping with the relief work," a senior police official said on condition of anonymity.
The cyclone, nicknamed Phailin, made landfall in Odisha and the neighboring southern state of Andhra Pradesh at 9.30 p.m. (local time) Saturday with wind speed of nearly 200 km/h, causing heavy rainfall and sending seawater surging inland.
The storm snapped communication, power lines and uprooted trees, and damaged properties and crops worth billions of rupees.
In 1999, a similar cyclone killed more than 10,000 people in Odisha. But this time, the death toll has been low thanks to the preparedness of disaster reduction officials.
"We have been able to (keep) the death toll to a bare minimum," M.S. Reddy of the National Disaster Management Authority had told the media in the national capital Monday.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had also said the primary aim was to minimize loss of human lives which has been done successfully.
"Property to the tune of several crores has been damaged. Rehabilitation will now be done," he said.