Cyclone Phalin struck the coast of the Indian State of Odisha in October 2013 and affected more than 13 million people, including almost one million who had to be evacuated. It damaged 420,000 homes and is estimated to have cost in excess of US$700 million. This figure would be higher if not for Odisha's strong disaster management record, according to a leading urban activist based in the State capital of Bhubaneswar, pointing to the need to continue developing policy, technical and institutional capacities and mechanisms for disaster risk management, with a disaster risk reduction perspective.
Dr Piyush Ranjan Rout, who is the co-founder and executive director of the Local Governments Network and an advocate for the Making Cities Resilient Campaign, said the focus on accountability and reducing disaster risk avoided an even worse outcome. "Most of our towns are part of the UNISDR Campaign and the successful management of [Cyclone] Phalin highlighted the effectiveness of investments made over the last ten years. However, the still exorbitant economic losses experienced indicate strongly that in the future, both the national and state governments have to focus more on reducing economic exposure."